Reflection for Tuesday, August 4, 2009: 18th week in Ordinary Time.
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One of the choices for today's Gospel reading is the story about Jesus going up the mountain to pray and then coming down from the mountain to see the boat with the disciples being "tossed by the waves." It is a story about faith in Jesus and trusting that He will truly do what He says.||In the story, Jesus sees the disciples are in danger. "During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them walking on the sea ... " The disciples " ... 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." Then Peter says, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." Jesus said to him, "Come."|We know that Peter walks on the water until he becomes afraid. Then he begins to sink. He cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"|Again and again Jesus asked the disciples to have faith. In the Gospel He appeared to many, asked Doubting Thomas to put his hand into Jesus's side and his fingers into the holes in his hands, and still the disciples had trouble with their faith in Jesus.|We are just like the disciples. We have trouble believing that Jesus will keep his word. I think the reason is that we rarely experience someone to be consistently faithful to us. We humans - with our strengths and weaknesses - do not consistently live up to our promises to others. We have trouble with being faithful ourselves.|The July 13, 2009, issue of Time magazine has an article on "Unfaithfully Yours: Infidelity is eroding our most sacred institution." In the article there is this quote: "No other single force is causing as much measurable hardship in this country as the collapse of marriage." We know this to be true from the examples of infidelity we observe in the leaders we have chosen to run our country as well as in the neighborhoods in which we live.|So what/Who can we believe in? We can believe in the Word of God. God alone is faithful to each one of us in God's own way. We can be like the disciples in the reading:|"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.'"|Let us pray:| "Lord, increase our faith today. You know how hard it is for us to believe because we live with infidelity to promises everyday. Have mercy on us, and help us believe in You, our Lord and God. You are the only One worthy of our complete trust. Amen."
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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