ü Today’s Gospel is a call to trust in Jesus who says to us “Take courage it is I.”
ü In the first Reading the prophet Elijah acknowledges the presence of God in the tiny whispering sound of the wind.
ü And Paul in his letter to the Romans tells them how much he suffers for his people, he wishes that all may know Jesus.
THE BOOK OF KINGS
Ø The two books of Kings are the continuation of the books of Samuel.
Ø In the Hebrew Bible they form an only book and the are called Melakim.
Ø In the Greek translation (LXX) and in the Latin translation (The Vulgate) they are called thrid and fouth book of Kings, since Samuel are the first and the second.
Ø They are part of the Deuteronomistic History which goes from the entrance into the promise land (Joshua) to the exile of Babylon (587 before Christ). This collection of books is called by the Jews: the former prophets.
Ø The reading this Sunday is taken form the part of the first book of Kings called the Cycle of Elijah (1K 14-2K 1.
FIRST READING 1K 19,9ª,11-13a
Ø Elijah is on the Mountain of God, the Horeb.
Ø Since in the Bible we have the repetition of some passages in which Horeb is also called Sinai and vice verse, some have concluded that it is the same mountain.
Ø For those who think so Horeb would be the name used by the Madianites and Sinai by the Cannaneans and the Amorites; the name Horeb seems to indicate the dryness of the land while Sinai would indicate its proximity to the desert of Sin.
Ø However there is evidence to think that these two names indicate two different places.
Ø Elijah has made a long drough over the land, but he has prayed and the Lord has sent the rain.
Ø Now he goes to the Horeb and there he waits for the Lord.
Ø God speaks to him and says I will pass be passing by.
Ø Different atmospheric phenomena happen, but Elijah does not perceive the presence of God though them, only when he experiences a tiny whispering sound.
Ø In the Scriptures many times the theophany is represented by thunder, lightning and many other meteorological manifestations, but here God teaches Elijah something else about Him. God is in the peace, in the tenderness.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps 85, 9. 10. 11-12. 13-14
Lord, le tus see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.
I will hear what God proclaims
The Lord-for he proclaims peace.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
Glory dwelling in our land.
Kindness and truth shall meet
Jutice an peace shall Kiss
Truth shall spring out of the earth
And justice shall look down from heaven
The Lord himself will give his benefits
Our land shall yield its increase
Justice shall walk before him
And prepare the way of his steps.
Ø The promise of peace for those who turn to the Lord. This a reality for whoever begins a process of conversion, the closeness to God brings peace and energy.
Ø It seems as if the psalmist would want to tell us that love and justice are two similar realities and that truth and peace are also similar or equal.
GOSPEL Mt 14:22-33
v Jesus asks his disciples to precede him to the other side of the lake. How did he planned to go to the other shore himself?
v He dismissed the crowds of those he had cured and had fed, and now alone by himself he will go to the mountain top to pray, to talk with the Father. He did not do it when he got there for the first time because he was moved by compassion on seeing so many sick and so many hungry persons.
v While he is at prayer the disciples are in the midst of the lake tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against them.
v This continues to be so, we the disciples are immersed in the sea of our life, of our society, of our world and, in the midst of the dangers who assail us.
v And Jesus moves toward them walking on the sea.
v And Jesus continues walking with us.
v The disciples believe and say it is a ghost, and the same thing will happen on the evening of the resurrection.
v On both occasions Jesus speaks to them and says, it is I, do not be troubled.
v Peter, practical man inclined to what is concrete and palpable, asks Jesus to be able to walk on the sea as Jesus is doing, and the Lord says “come.”
v How many times, we, the disciples of the 21st century, act in a similar way, and we ask the Lord for signs.
v And Peter rushes to the sea led by his heart, and oh what a wonderful thing, he walks over the sea, but suddenly he doubts and, then he begins to sink.
v What a man of Little faith you are! Yes, the Lord can say the same words to us, women and men of little faith. I have conquered the world why are your hearts troubled? ”It is I.”
v It is I when you are in the midst of darkness and you do not know where to go, when you feel lonely, when you believe that nobody listens to you, when you are sick, when you are tired… yes I am with you through it all, even when you do not feel my presence. Take courage, it is I.
v When Jesus gets to the boat the wind calms down, and those men are amazed, they are troubled, and probably they feel shame because they have doubted, thus they say to him “truly you are the Son of God!”
SECOND READING Rom 9,1-5
Paul confesses with simplicity to the community of Rome that he is suffering for his people, because his people does not acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah, they have waited for such a long time.
He suffers so much that he wishes, if this could be possible, to be separated from the Lord for the sake of his people
He thinks aloud on who his people is, and mentions all that makes of it the people of the election, the people of the promise, but they are not aware of this reality.
We need to abandon ourselves into the arms of our God, of our Lord Jesus and let us never boast of our own strength, our vanity and our pride. Faith is a gift, a precious gift which may wither like a flower, break as the crystal, get lost like we lose what the thieves steal.
The Lord is always with us, “it is I.”
When the ship was so full with the water which was entering in (by the crack that I mentioned above), and it was impossible to resist (humanly speaking), without sinking, then the butler went to Santa Barbara (store room) to look for sugar. An interior force moved him, as he himself confessed, because he had no need of that sugar and at that time – it was 4:30 in the morning (no body used to go to that place). But God our Lord who took this navigation under his grace, wanted to announce the danger when there was no more human remedy for the prodigy to be more manifested. When the butler entered the store room he found himself in an immense pond of water since this had entered already in very great quantity that reach up to a man’s height.Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 146.
We continued our voyage to Cuba in high spirits and excellent order. The ship's cabin space was divided into two parts: I and my companions were quartered in the space between the main mast and the poop; the nuns were quartered all to themselves in the space between the main mast and the bow, and separated from the rest of us by shuttered doors. My group got up every day on schedule, I washed, and made a half-hour's meditation together. The nuns did the same in their quarters. After meditation I celebrated Mass in our quarters, where an altar had been set up. I said Mass every day of our voyage. It was attended by all in my group as well as by the sisters, who heard it from their own quarters by pushing back the shuttered doors that formed the dividing line between them and us. The sisters and priests all received Communion, except for one of the priests who celebrated a second Mass, during which we made our thanksgiving. There was a system of rotation for the priest who said the second Mass, so that every day we had two Masses--one said by me, the other by the priest whose turn it was that day. Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, 506.
CLARET, Antonio María Claret, Autobiografía.
PAGOLA, José A. El camino abierto por Jesús. PPC 2012
PARIS, María Antonia, Autobiografía
STOCK, Klemens. La Liturgia de la Palabra. Ciclo A (Mateo) 2007
ENCICLOPEDIA DE LA BIBLIA, cuarto volumen. Editorial Éxito 1963.
LA BIBLIA, traducción tomada de la página web del Vaticano.
SAGRADA BIBLIA. Versión oficial de la Conferencia Episcopal Española, Madrid 2012.