Aug 9 2020 Reflection
Sunday 9 August 2020
First Reading: 1 KGS 19:9A, 11-13A
Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.
PS 85:9, 10, 11-12, 13-14
Second Reading: ROM 9:1-5
Gospel Reading: MT 14:22-33
Today’s Note: Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
After he had fed the people, Jesus made the disciples get into a boat
and precede him to the other side,
while he dismissed the crowds.
After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.
When it was evening he was there alone.
Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore,
was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night,
he came toward them walking on the sea.
When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified.
“It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear.
At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Peter said to him in reply,
“Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
He said, “Come.”
Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.
But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened;
and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught Peter,
and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
After they got into the boat, the wind died down.
Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying,
“Truly, you are the Son of God.”
Theirs [is] the worship. (Romans 9:3)
Paul begins his long meditation on the mystery of Israel’s rejection of Christ by listing some of the blessings God has given to his fellow Jews: “adoption, . . . covenants, . . . the law, . . . the promises” (Romans 9:3). And in the middle of this list is a curious phrase: “the worship.”
How unique—and, yes, how blessed—was Israel’s worship! Unlike their pagan neighbors, who devised their own kinds of sacrifices to please their many gods, the people of Israel had the privilege of offering God the kind of worship that he desired. Following the commandments God gave Moses, they offered sacrifices of love and communion, of repentance and reconciliation with God. They worshipped God for his salvation. They praised him for his greatness and power. The fact that he had chosen them and made a covenant with them proved that he loved them deeply and wanted to form them in his image!
For our part, we have the privilege of worshipping God every time we celebrate Mass. Like the Israelites, we can praise him for his glory. We can thank him for saving us from sin and opening heaven for us. We can worship him for his promise never to leave us or abandon us.
Of course, we don’t slaughter sheep or cattle, and we don’t burn barley or wheat. That kind of worship played its part in the past. On the cross, Jesus offered one, perfect sacrifice to God and sealed an everlasting covenant with us through his blood. Now, when we gather to worship, we do it by recalling Jesus’ sacrifice, by receiving him in the Eucharist, and by pledging ourselves to live out the covenant he has so freely made with us.
So set your heart on worshipping the one true God at Mass today. His love for you is everlasting, and his salvation is eternal. It is a privilege and an honor to come into his presence with praise!
“Lord, we praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you!”