August 9, 2020 – Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today, faith and its challenges were presented to us through the readings.  In the Gospel, Peter, when invited at his request by Jesus to come to him, had the initial faith to get out of the boat walking on the sea.  When he saw himself walking on the sea, so much doubt overcame him that he began to sink.  He cried out to the Lord to save him.  Jesus while saving him lamented about his lack of faith.

Dearest sisters and brothers, Peter’s episode represents our individual experiences of life.  As baptized Catholics, each of us have been struggling with our faith journey.  Many a time, we have not always been faithful to the Lord probably because of the difficult life’s challenges we do face.  In today’s readings, especially, the Gospel, we are called once again to examine why we have not always been faithful to the Lord and the circumstances that lead to those infidelities.

In addressing our various infidelities to the Lord, the first area we may need to focus our attention is on the identity of the Lord and where he can be found.  In the first reading, the Lord, in appearing to Elijah, was neither in the strong wind that was crushing the rocks, nor in the earthquake, nor in the fire; but rather, he was in the tiny whispering sound.  Many a time, we seek the Lord in the wrong places of life.  We think he can be found in the great events of life, like our great achievements and successes, great learnings, political programs, our wealth, and so on, while neglecting the little things that really bring us closer to him.

Things like being there for our poor neighbor who is need, doing our little prayer devotions like the Rosary, divine mercy, and others, such as sitting in a quiet time before him in the Eucharist, sending a little get-well card to a neighbor who is sick, making a phone call to a friend we have not seen for a while, given encouragement to someone who is depressed, being available at the game of our kids and grandkids, smiling to a stranger who seem uninterested and so on and so forth.

While doing all these little things, the Lord should always be the center.  In the Gospel, we saw that while Peter’s focus was on the Lord, he walked on the sea and as soon as his focus turned away from the Lord to himself and his surroundings, he began to sink.  In the same way, the Lord is inviting us today to always keep our focus on him so that we will keep overcoming all the challenges of life as they come!