THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for August 4th – August 9th, 2014
Liturgical texts here
DEAR friends, as you may have read already, a lightning storm took out my computer this week. As such, I’ve been scrambling to get back on track with writing with a backup and getting another computer on order. To make matters worse, the building where our main office is located had it’s heating ducts and plumbing come crashing down! Hm… I think it was Jesus Himself who said that the Kingdom of Heaven is taken by violence. Indeed!
If you are on my general meditation email list, then you would have received our plea for financial help in not only replacing the computer but some aging equipment used for concerts and live ministry. This Fall, I sense the Lord calling me to go out to the people again, in between my writings. The word on my heart is “Comfort My people…” We need to raise another $9000-10,000 to reach our goal for these ministry needs. If you are able to help, I would be deeply grateful. (For all donations $75 or more, we are offering 50% off of everything in my store, including my book and new albums.)
Because of this week’s issues, I am going to keep today’s meditation to the point. Two readings echoed in my heart this past week. In Tuesday’s Gospel, we read of the beautiful encounter of Jesus walking on water in the midst of a storm. When they saw Him, the Apostles were terrifed. But He replies:
Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.
When Peter tries to walk toward Him, “he saw how strong the wind was” and became frightened. But,
Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him…
And again, when a few of the Apostles see Jesus transfigured before them, they are terrified.
But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and do not be afraid.”
These two Gospels summarize the two basic fears that seem to accompany every Christian: the fear of one’s own trials, storms, and weakness; and the fear that I am too sinful for a holy God to be near me.
But in both cases above, Jesus reaches out and touches the sinner. Who is this God that not only takes on our humanity, but touches our sinful flesh? Who dines with wretches? Who shares Golgotha with common criminals?
My brothers and sisters, why do you listen to the accuser who says that God does not want you, that He despises you, that He is too holy for you? Well, I understand. The accuser has shadowed me since my birth, and his lies are more fierce and subtle than ever. How then, do we overcome them?
O you of little faith, why did you doubt”?
These are the words of the Lord to Peter who is sinking beneath the waves of satanic lies. You deserve to die… one can almost hear Satan whispering it in Peter’s ear! Yes, he whispers in your ear and mine: You are a filthy sinner and you deserve to die. You have blown your chances. You are a hypocrite. Hope has expired for you…. Sound familiar at all? And do you believe these accusations? Then Jesus says to you also:
O you of little faith, why do you doubt?
My child, all your sins have not wounded My Heart as painfully as your present lack of trust does that after so many efforts of My love and mercy, you should still doubt My goodness. —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 1486
It is tempting to look at “how strong the winds” are in your life or in the world. But the answer is the same: let Jesus touch you. Trust Him.
Therein lies your salvation.
When you’re looking into the wind, look instead into the eyes of Jesus. A song I wrote at a time when, like Peter, I was sinking in the storm…
Thanks for your prayers and support.
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