Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Joke written by George Goldtrap:

A pastor hired a painter to paint a sign for the church. The painter painted a sign which read:

Church of Christ. 

The pastor saw the sign and was very unhappy. 

This is not a Church of Christ

he scolded the painter. So, the sign painter reworded the sign to say:

This is not a Church of Christ. 

This time the pastor was furious. Exasperated, the painter packed his tools and told the pastor:

When you make up your mind, call me!

We must remain steadfast in our faith even when we are faced with adversity!

In our 1st reading, from 1st Kings, we hear of an exasperated prophet named Elijah. We all know Elijah. The greatest of prophets! He has given up, he fears for his life, he simply wants to die. He separates himself from God’s people. He journeys to the desert. God intervenes seeing that Elijah isn’t fulfilling his mission as a prophet. Even Moses stayed with his people.  So, God provides him with nourishment and sends him to a cave on a mountain to wait for God to come to him. As we hear, God doesn’t come to him in the ways that others might suspect (fire, earthquake, etc.), but rather in a gentle, whispering breeze. After God’s visitation to Elijah, Elijah knows what must be done, and fulfills his mission.

We must remain steadfast in our faith even when we are faced with adversity.

In the Gospel of Matthew, we hear of the story of the Apostles being tossed by waves and wind, in a boat, and Jesus coming to them walking on the water, and calming the sea. Instead of a boat, I want you to do the same as Matthew, I want you to think of the Church as the boat. When tough times happen such as this pandemic, when the Church gets rocked with scandal, when the future of the Church seems uncertain — trust in the Lord, He’ll be the one who will calm our storm, and He is the one who will save us!

Of course, the story in Matthew’s Gospel, has a little add on, doesn’t it? Yep, Peter gets out of the boat, and Jesus invites Peter to come to him, and immediately fear takes over and Peter begins to sink, but Jesus immediately catches him. So, the obvious question is: What should Peter have done? The answer: Stayed in the boat! This is true for all of us! We must stay in the Church! The Body of Christ saves us!

We must remain steadfast in our faith even when we are faced with adversity!

In the Eucharist, we experience Christ’s power in a profound way.  He has made it possible for us to receive him in his body, blood, soul, and divinity.  Let us approach his altar with faith, trust, and confidence in him who can calm all our storms.

Readings for Sunday, August 9, 2020