XIX SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
1 kings 19:9a, 11-13a; romans 9:1-5; matthew 14:22-33
during the floods in chennai in november 2015, 26-year-old mohammad yunus offered his two apartments to the people stranded in his area, and was instrumental in rescuing over 1500 people.
mamta rawat’s house was washed away in the 2013 flash floods in uttarakhand. this did not stop her from climbing dangerous terrains to save hundreds of stranded people. she was just 24, with no official status or government support for her rescue mission.
mohammad and mamta did not need to step out to help people. they did not need to risk their lives. they did.
today’s readings feature two heroes, who stepped out… on the strength of GOD’s word.
the first reading presents elijah.
he confronted the infidelity of the monarchy, and destroyed the false prophets of baal. overwhelmed by fatigue, he wanted to give up. but strengthened by GOD’s food and word, he journeyed to horeb where he encountered the LORD… in a still small voice. this encounter strengthened him to continue his mission.
elijah did not need to leave the comfort of his homeland. he obeyed GOD and stepped out on his word.
the gospel features peter and his walk upon the water.
amid the storm, the disciples encountered jesus, who calmed their fears. the impetuous peter dared to get out into the stormy seas.
peter did not need to get out of the boat. he did… on the strength of the LORD’s word.
elijah and peter (and mohammad and mamta) show us what happens when we respond to the LORD’s call: we triumph over the forces of chaos and meaninglessness; his power lifts us up and allows us to weather the storms of life.
which boats do i need to step out? on which stormy waters does the LORD call me to walk? will i risk stepping out on the word of GOD?
- risk, because i have a GOD who watches over me;
- trust, because i have a GOD who cares for me;
- step out because i have a GOD who saves me.