Missionary Weekly Reflection
19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 9 August 2020
1King 19:9a,11-13a; Ps. 85:9ab-10,13-14; Rm. 9:1-5; Mat. 14:22-33
After filling up thousands of people, Jesus went to the mountain by Himself to pray. It is His usual pattern: action was brought into contemplation. His ministry work was always shared with the Father. From there he got confirmation. Jesus not only teaches about prayer, but He Himself becomes an example for us to pray. However, praying does not make His eyes closed from the the struggle of His disciples “down there”. The close relationship with the Father makes Him more sensitive to human difficulties. Jesus teaches you and me to care for the ministry with prayer, and make the prayer fruitfull in ministry. The two are inseparable, they strengthen each other and multiply fruit to each other.
He asked the disciples to go before Him to the other side. They had just been involved in feeding the people. Could they now travel on their own? Of course they could, but with full struggle. Matthew focused on the bobbing “boat”, because of the waves and headwind. The boat is a symbol of the Church struggling across the oceans of age. You and I are the Church that must always “go to the other side”: get out of your comfort zone, out of primordial boundaries, go to greet as many people as possible and share His grace and love with them. It is an “urgent” task (v. 22) from the Lord for us, His disciples. An urgent task that is full of problems: many waves and headwinds, full of challenges and resistance, from the various demonic powers of today’s world.
But Jesus does not let us travel alone. From His prayer on the mountain, He sees our struggle in an unfriendly sea. He will definitely come. As the God ruled the ancient seas, so will His Son now rules over the raging sea. Jesus is the Son of God who rules over the universe. He even makes the demonic power that roars the sea as His footwear. His presence is reassuring: “Take courage! It is Me, don’t be afraid!”. He is Immanuel, God who is with His people (Matt. 1:23; 28:20).
When Peter saw Jesus, he dared to come and walk on the water. But when he felt the wind blowing, he became afraid and drowned. Peter is the picture of all of the Lord’s followers. We are strong when we look at the Lord and focus on Him. However, we soon become afraid and drown when we only focus on dangers and challenges. Together with Peter, we are invited to always say in loud: “Lord, help me”. He will surely give out His hand and save us. With the Lord, our journey of faith will be safe, although it is not free of danger and challenge. Ego eimi “It is Me”: He is the Lord who “is always with” His Church, especially in doubt and lack of believing moment. He comes to nourish our faith by giving help and rebuke. Like Peter’s experience, through rebuke and criticism, we too will be raised by Jesus from the crisis. He rebukes and directs us through His word, through the Church and various experiences. Through the Church who is always going through many problems, you and I will inherit the faith in Him, whom we always worship and glorify as the “Son of God” who is present among us, in every struggle of our lives.
(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:
For Evangelization intention:
Prosperity in the maritime: May all people who work and live from the sea, sailors, fishermen and their families, and officers who guard the sea, always be blessed with safety and prosperity. We pray …
For Indonesian Churches intention:
Harmony for the nation: As a real action in establishing the togetherness and harmony of the nation, may the Church open itself to the culture and want to promote the variety of local arts activities. We pray …
We entrust our efforts in the state to realize the justice for for every citizen. We pray …