His mercy is on them that fear Him. Luke 1:50
Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. Psa. 31:19, 20
If ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear. I Pet. 1:17
The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him … in truth. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. Psa. 145:18, 19
Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the LORD, … and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith the LORD. II Kings 22:19
To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. Isa. 66:2
The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Psa. 34:18
Them that honour me I will honour. I Sam. 2:30
Whosoever … shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. Matt. 10:32
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. Matt. 10:37-39
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. James 1:12
Fear none of these things which thou shalt suffer. Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. Rev. 2:10
Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. II Cor. 4:17
Praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. I Pet. 1:7
August 3, 2020
Monday of the Eighteenth Week of Ordinary Time (Year A)
Readings for Today
Peter said to him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” Matthew 14:28-29a
What a wonderful expression of faith! St. Peter, caught in stormy conditions on the sea, expressed his complete confidence that if Jesus were to call him out of the boat to walk on water, it would happen. Jesus does call him to Himself, and St. Peter begins to walk on water. Of course we know what happened next. Peter was filled with fear and began to sink. Fortunately, Jesus caught him and all was well.
Interestingly, this story reveals much to us about our own lives of faith and much more about the goodness of Jesus. So often we begin with a faith in our head and have every intention of living that faith. Like Peter, we often make firm resolutions to trust in Jesus and to “walk on water” at His command. However, all too often we experience the same thing Peter did. We start to live the trust we express in Jesus, only to suddenly waver and give in to fear in the midst of our hardship. We begin to sink and have to cry out for help.
In some ways, the ideal would have been if Peter expressed his faith in Jesus and then walked to Him without faltering. But, in other ways, this is the ideal story in that it reveals the depth of Jesus’ mercy and compassion. It reveals that Jesus will catch us and draw us out of our doubts and fears when our faith gives way. This story is much more about Jesus’ compassion and the extent of His help than it is about Peter’s lack of faith.
Reflect, today, upon any way that you have had great intentions of trusting Jesus, started down that path and then have fallen. Know that Jesus is full of compassion and will reach out to you in your weakness just as He did to Peter. Let Him grab your hand and strengthen your lack of faith out of His abundance of love and mercy.
Lord, I do believe. Help me when I falter. Help me to always turn to You when the storms and challenges of life seem to be too much. May I trust that, in those moments more than any other, You are there reaching out Your hand of grace. Jesus, I trust in You.
Source of content: mycatholic.life
GOSPEL READING: Matthew 14:13-21
13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a lonely place apart. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 As he went ashore he saw a great throng; and he had compassion on them, and healed their sick. 15 When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a lonely place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” 17 They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” 18 And he said, “Bring them here to me.” 19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass; and taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. 21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Meditation: What can truly satisfy our deepest hunger and longing? Wherever Jesus went multitudes of people gathered to meet him – people from every part of society – rich and poor, professionals and laborers, even social outcasts and pagans. What drew them to Jesus? Were they simply curious or looking for a healing? Many were drawn to Jesus because they were hungry for God. Jesus’ message of God’s kingdom and the signs and wonders he performed stirred fresh hope and expectation that God was acting in a new and powerful way to set people free from sin and oppression and to bring them the blessings of his kingdom.
God never rests in caring for our needs
Jesus never disappointed those who earnestly sought him out. We see a marvelous example of this when Jesus and his twelve disciples got into the boat to seek out a lonely place for some rest along the lake of Galilee, only to discover a crowd of a few thousand people had already gathered in anticipation of their arrival! Did Jesus’ disciples resent this intrusion on their plan to rest awhile? Jesus certainly didn’t – he welcomed them with open-arms. His compassion showed the depths of God’s love and care for his people. Jesus spoke the word of God to strengthen them in faith and he healed many who were sick.
God multiplies the little we have to bring great blessing to others
As evening approached the disciples wanted Jesus to send the people away. Jesus, instead, commanded his disciples to feed the whole crowd. Why did Jesus expect his disciples to do what seemed impossible – to feed such a large and hungry crowd when there was no adequate provision in sight? Jesus very likely wanted to test their faith and to give them a sign of God’s divine intervention and favor for his people. Jesus took the little they had – five loaves and two fish – and giving thanks to his heavenly Father, distributed to all until they were satisfied of their hunger. Twelves baskets full of fish and loaves that were leftover show the overflowing generosity of God’s gifts to us – gifts that bring blessing, healing, strength, and refreshment.
Bread from heaven to sustain us on our journey
Jesus’ feeding of the five thousand is the only miracle recorded in all four Gospel accounts (Luke 9:10-17, Mark 6:34-44, John 6:51-58, Matthew 14:13-21). What is the significance of this miracle? The miraculous feeding of such a great multitude recalled the miraculous provision of manna in the wilderness under Moses’ leadership and intercession for his people (Exodus 16). The daily provision of food for the people of Israel during their forty years of journeying in the barren wilderness foreshadowed the true heavenly bread which Jesus would pass on to his disciples at his last supper meal on the eve of his sacrifice on the cross.
Jesus makes a claim which only God can make: He is the true bread of heaven that can satisfy the deepest hunger we experience (John 6:32-35). The miracle of the multiplication of the loaves, when Jesus said the blessing, broke and distributed the loaves through his disciples to feed the multitude, is a sign that prefigures the superabundance of the unique bread of the Eucharist, or Lord’s Supper which sustains us on our journey to the kingdom of heaven.
God multiplies the little we have so we can bring his blessing to others
The feeding of the five thousand shows the remarkable generosity of God and his great kindness towards us. When God gives, he gives abundantly. He gives more than we need for ourselves that we may have something to share with others, especially those who lack what they need. God takes the little we have and multiplies it for the good of others. Do you trust in God’s provision for you and do you share freely with others, especially those who lack?
8 The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 The LORD is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made.
15 The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season.
16 You open your hand, you satisfy the desire of every living thing.
17 The LORD is just in all his ways, and kind in all his doings.
18 The LORD is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth.
Daily Quote from the Early Church Fathers: The Lord fills all things with blessing from above, by Cyril of Alexandria (376-444 AD)
“So that by every means the Lord might be known to be God by nature, he multiplies what is little, and he looks up to heaven as though asking for the blessing from above. Now he does this out of the divine economy, for our sakes. For he himself is the one who fills all things, the true blessing from above and from the Father. But, so that we might learn that when we are in charge of the table and are preparing to break the loaves, we ought to bring them to God with hands upraised and bring down upon them the blessing from above, he became for us the beginning and pattern and way.” (excerpt from FRAGMENT 177)