Homily :: August 13, 2017
08/13/17: Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
08/13/17: Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Dcn David Kreuger
(6:02, 5.52 MB)
08/13/17: Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Dcn Bill Hill
(6:27, 5.90 MB)
08/13/17: Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Dcn Russ Perry
(5:54, 5.41 MB)
Matthew describes the miracle of Jesus calming the storm in today’s Gospel, along with the miracle of Jesus and Peter walking on the water. This passage is often read in a rational, scientific, light: Jesus merely appeared to be walking on the water, but was actually walking where the water wasn’t deep. To paraphrase Scripture scholar Raymond Brown, it is this type of explanation that is shallow, not the water on which Jesus walked. To focus on the possibility of these miracles is to miss their importance. Similarly, however, to treat these miracles simply as demonstrations of Jesus’ power is to minimize their significance. Instead, we need to look to their importance to the Gospel narrative.
In the first place, within the context of the first reading, we can see how Jesus is revealed as God. In 1 Kings, God is shown as a whispering sound amidst the power of nature. In today’s Gospel Jesus uses classic Old Testament language (“It is I”) to make himself known in the midst of a storm. Thus, we know God in the person of Christ. Second, Matthew uses this event to indicate the role of faith. Peter shares in the power of Christ as long as his faith remains strong. When, however, the “littleness” becomes apparent, Peter begins to drown. Peter is a consolation to us, for our own faith is often small like his. And yet, we find hope in knowing that Christ will save us when we call out despite the size of our faith, saving us just as he saved Peter.
By Dave Pitt © 2003, OCP. All rights reserved.