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August 28th, 2011

Jesus Walking On Water

Jesus Walking On Water

Jesus Walking On Water (Matthew 14:22-36)

After the crowds have eaten their fill, Jesus obliged his disciples to get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side, while He sent the crowd away. And having sent the people away, He went up the mountain by himself to pray. At nightfall, He was there alone.

Meanwhile, the boat was very far from land, dangerously rocked by the waves for the wind was against it. At daybreak, Jesus came to them walking on the lake. When they saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, thinking that it was a ghost. And they cried out in fear. But at once Jesus said to them, “Courage! Don’t be afraid. It’s me!”.

Peter answered, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you walking on the water”. Jesus said to him, “Come”. And Peter got out of the boat, walking on the water to go to Jesus. But, in face of the strong wind, he was afraid and began to sink. So he cried out, “Lord, save me!”. Jesus immediately stretched out his hand and took hold of him, saying, “Man of little faith, why did you doubt?”. As they got into the boat, the wind dropped. Then those in the boat bowed down before Jesus saying, “Truly, you are the Son of God!”.

They came ashore at Gennesareth. The local people recognized Jesus and spread the news throughout the region. So they brought all the sick to him, begging him to let them touch just the fringe of his cloak. All who touched it became perfectly well.

Reflection:-

Now we shall not look at Jesus sleeping on the boat while it sinks, nor rebuking the winds and the waves with a single word, so his disciples may be amazed (Mt 8:23-27). But, today’s action is no less disconcerting, whether for his first disciples or for us.

Jesus had obliged his disciples to get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side; and after the crowds have eaten their fill, He had sent the crowd away. And, then, He went up the mountain by himself to pray. And He remained there alone. (Mt 14:22-23). Without his Master, the disciples were having troubles to face the wind. It was then when Jesus came to them walking on the water.

As plain and simple people would, the disciples were terrified to see him: men do not usually walk over water, so they thought they were seeing a ghost. But they were wrong: it was not an illusion what they were looking at, but the very Lord, who was inviting them – as He did quite often – not to be afraid and trust him to awake their faith in them.

This faith was first demanded to Peter, who said: “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you walking on the water” (Mt 14:28). With these words, Peter showed that faith consists of abiding by the word of Christ: he did not say “let me walk on the water” but he just wanted to follow what the very and only Lord could command him to do, to believe the truthfulness of the Master’s words.

His doubts, however, made him reel, but they led the other disciples to bow down and confess before their Master: “Truly, you are the Son of God!” (Mt 14:33).

The group of those that already were apostles, but did not yet fully believe, when they saw the waters waving below the Lord’s feet and appreciated his steps were firm through the stormy waves (…) they believed Jesus was the true Son of God, and accepted him as such. – St. Ambrose.

– – – reflection by Fr. Lluc TORCAL Monk of Santa Maria de Poblet

August 24th, 2011

Jesus Feeds 5000 With Fish And Bread

Jesus Feeds The 5000

Jesus Feeds 5000 With Fish And Bread (Matthew 14:13-21)

On hearing about the death of John the Baptist, Jesus set out secretly by boat for a secluded place. But the people heard of it, and they followed him on foot from their towns. When Jesus went ashore, He saw the crowd gathered there and He had compassion on them. And He healed their sick.

Late in the afternoon, his disciples came to him and said, “We are in a lonely place and it is now late. You should send these people away, so they can go to the villages and buy something for themselves to eat”. But Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat”. They answered, “We have nothing here but five loaves and two fishes”. Jesus said to them, “Bring them here to me”.

Then He made everyone sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves and the two fishes, raised his eyes to heaven, pronounced the blessing, broke the loaves and handed them to the disciples to distribute to the people. And they all ate, and everyone had enough; then the disciples gathered up the leftovers, filling twelve baskets. About five thousand men had eaten there besides women and children.

Reflection:-

Jesus shows us just how much He wants to involve us in his saving work. He who had created the heavens and the earth out of nothing, could have easily created a rich banquet from nothing to satiate the multitudes. But He preferred to work the miracle starting with the best his disciples could give him.

“We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish” (Mt 14:17), they said. “Bring them here to me” (Mt 14:18), Jesus replied. The Lord was able to multiply that meager donation — not enough even to feed a typical family — to nourish about 5000 families.

The Lord showed the same protocol at the wedding feast of Cana. He who created all the seas could easily have filled the six 30-gallon containers with choice wine from scratch. But He again wanted to involve his creatures in the miracle, by having them fill the containers with water first.

We see the same principle in the celebration of the Eucharist. Jesus begins not from nothing, nor from grain and grapes, but from bread and wine, which already contain within the work of human hands.

The late Cardinal François Xavier Nguyen van Thuan, imprisoned from 1975-1988 by the Vietnamese communists, wondered how he could further Christ’s kingdom and care for his flock while undergoing the brutal suffering of solitary confinement. He realized he might not be able to do much from a prison cell, but at least each day he could offer to the Lord his “five loaves and two fish,” and let God do the rest. The Lord multiplied those little efforts into a witness that has inspired not only the Vietnamese but the whole Church.

Today the Lord is asking us, his modern disciples, to give the crowds something to eat (Mt 14:16). No matter how much or how little we have, let us give it to the Lord and let him take it from there.

– – – reflection by Fr. Roger J. LANDRY

July 8th, 2011

There Is A Miracle In Your Doing

There Is A Miracle In Your Doing

I don’t know about you, but when I see folks doing extraordinary acts, it just grabs my attention. Such is the one I found in the beginning chapters of the book of the loving disciple John. The context – an ancient Jewish wedding, and the crisis – lack of wine for the guests.

Sometime during the wedding feast, the wonder begins. Jesus, who happened to be one of the guests, instructed the servants to fill the water jars that were used for ceremonial washing. They did so. Then He asked to fetch some of that water to the banquet host. They did so. And when he tasted it, he found it as much better wine than the one served earlier!

Well, it’s a miracle; no doubt about that. But there’s something else to it: when did it happen? When they did so! Imagine the servants filling the jars with water and then taking a sample to the host for tasting, all the while knowing that there is no wine – it’s just audacious! And somewhere between the ‘filling’ and the ‘tasting’, the miracle happened!

That helps me understand something about miracles. Miracles won’t simply happen. True, you and I cannot do miracles. But it’s when we enter into the ‘they did so’ mode that we find miracles happen!

They did so – whatever Jesus said. When you DO what He instructs you, the miracle begins to descend on you!

– – – written by Joe Abraham

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