Dear Friend,
Often we want God to act dramatically and sensationally in our lives and in the 
lives of others! In reality our God acts in small and unobtrusive ways often 
unnoticed and unheeded by us. Our all-powerful God is a God of small things! He 
does not display his power yet works in wonderful ways for us and with us. Have 
an exciting week discovering his quiet action and presence in our lives! -Fr. 
Sunday Ref: XIX Sunday “Courage! It is I, the Lord! Do not be afraid!”          
 13-Aug-2017Readings: 1 Kings 19: 9, 11-13;          Rom.9: 1-5;          Matt. 
14: 22-33;
In the first reading we meet Elijah the prophet hiding in a cave as he tries to 
distance himself from Queen Jezabel who is out to get him because he has 
humiliated and killed her prophets. Now on the run for his life, he is directed 
to Mount Horeb where he takes refuge in a cave. He wants to meet God and wishes 
this God to act powerfully against his enemies. There he discovers that his 
tactics are not God’s tactics. God’s approach is a non-violent one, symbolized 
by the mighty wind and earthquake in which he does not find God. Rather it is a 
gentle one, symbolized by the gentle breeze. Our God is so different from what 
we expect!

Deep calls to DeepA storm arose at sea and the ship was being tossed by winds 
and waves. Panic-stricken, the passengers ran helter-skelter on the deck 
begging God to save them. Amidst the confusion, little Monica stared coolly at 
the tempestuous sea. Seeing the girl so cool and composed, a passenger barked, 
“Hey kid, aren’t you afraid?” Monica replied casually, “Why worry? My daddy’s 
the captain!” Today’s readings speak of winds and waves, and of Christ, our 
Captain’s assurance. “Courage! It is I!”Francis Gonsalves in ‘Sunday Seeds for 
Daily Deeds’
In today’s gospel, we read that Jesus sent his disciples in a boat and he went 
on the mountain and was praying until three in the morning. Later, Jesus walked 
over the water and found His disciples fighting a losing battle against the 
storm. Though He was present fear engulfed them. His presence calmed the sea 
and gave them freedom from fear. The lesson in this passage is abundantly 
clear. As Matthew relates it, the story is clearly symbolic. The disciples in 
the boat represent the infant church; the wind and the waves represent the 
persecution let loose on the Church. Jesus is not with them physically; He is 
in heaven praying to the Father. However in the Church’s direst need, when all 
seems lost, her Lord comes to save her, The incident of Peter sinking and being 
saved by Jesus is probably a reference to Peter’s failure during the passion, 
and his restoration after the resurrection. In any case Peter represents the 
typical disciple, caught between faith and doubt. Jesus’ rebuke, “Man of little 
faith! Why did you doubt?” is directed to us also, who often start out 
courageously only to lose heart when faced with a crisis.
Jesus Comes … In silenceA proper understanding of the gospel story of Jesus 
walking on the sea has a lot to teach us of who Jesus is. Jesus comes to us in 
our trials and tribulations. He comes very calmly and quietly. He comes to us 
in silence. If we practice silence long enough, we may, like Elijah, sense God 
in the most surprising moments of our lives. Let me conclude with this story. 
Four monks decided to meditate silently without speaking for two weeks. By 
nightfall on the first day, the candle began to flicker and then went out. The 
first monk said, “Oh, no! The candle is out.” The second monk said, “Aren’t we 
not supposed to talk?” The third monk said, “Why must you break the silence?” 
The fourth monk laughed and said, “I’m the only one who didn’t speak.” –Mother 
Teresa says, “We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and 
restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, 
grass- grows in silence; see how the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move 
in silence…we need silence to be able to touch souls.”John Pichappilly in ‘The 
Table of the Word’
The impossible becomes possible…Mark Link tells the inspiring story of a 17 
year-old girl named Joni Eareckson, who like all teenagers her age was full of 
vitality, vigour and promise. Her favourite sport was horse riding, and in 
every completion her performance was so very impressive that her prospects for 
the future kept rising both noticeably and dramatically. One hot afternoon in 
July, Joni went for a swim in Chesapeake Bay and there tragedy struck. On one 
particular dive she sustained such a severe injury to her head that she was 
instantly knocked unconscious and rushed to the hospital for emergency 
treatment. And there the worst fears of her loved ones were confirmed. Joni 
would be a quadriplegic for the rest of her life. The months ahead were an 
absolute nightmare, with just no light at the end of the tunnel. The once 
graceful rider, who delighted crowds with her performances, would lie strapped 
to a Stryker frame. And for much of her time she would lie with her face down, 
looking at nothing but the floor. That is when she had a spiritual experience. 
As Joni lay strapped in her Stryker frame, she thought of Jesus nailed to the 
cross. He was God yet he was totally powerless and helpless. And she adds, “I 
pictured Jesus standing by my Stryker frame and saying to me, “Don’t lose 
heart, Joni, for I am with you and will help you to achieve the impossible.” 
Even as she lay there a curious thought crossed Joni’s mind. She could attempt 
painting if she could hold a painting brush between her teeth. And that is 
precisely what she did- so successfully and admirably that she is author of two 
best-sellers –one being autobiographical and entitled Joni –and has played the 
lead role in a movie of her own life. This inspiring story aptly demonstrates 
what Jesus can do in the life of any and every individual, if we let him. As 
the saying goes, “Where some see a caterpillar, others see a butterfly.” As 
someone has rightly said, “We must let go, and let God.” This precisely is what 
Joni did in her absolute helplessness. But with faith in the almighty power and 
the never-failing help of the Lord Jesus, she was able to achieve the 
impossible.J. Valladares in ‘Your Words O Lord, are Spirit, and they are Life’
Launch out into the deepThe God-encounter is possible when one dives deeper, 
climbs higher, ventures further and ‘burns one’s boats’ to launch out into the 
deep. The conquistador, Hernan Cortes (1485- 1547), was an ambitious man and 
desired to conquer Mexico for King Charles V of Spain. Frightened by unknown 
lands and its many inhabitants, his sailors dreamt of turning back to their 
ships, whereupon Cortes ordered them to ‘burn their boats.’ Are you ready to 
burn your boats and launch out into the deep to meet Deep?Francis Gonsalves in 
‘Sunday Seeds for Daily Deeds’
Ready to uphold you!Peter’s encounter with Jesus becomes a model of the 
Church’s encounter with God. Life tosses us about and makes us scream, “Help!” 
Rather than saving us by shortcuts, Jesus appears in life’s storms saying, 
“Courage, it is I!” His invitation follows: “Come!” Are we ready –as 
individuals and Church – to jump off the boat, leave the bandwagon and abandon 
the crowd? The Indian state of Gujarat suffered devastating floods in July 
2005. The oldest Church in Gujarat, at Anand, was inundated like never before. 
This “Church in deep waters” is symbolic of the Church called to weather 
today’s tempests of godlessness, globalization, materialism, fundamentalism, 
and individualism. Indeed, Christ the Captain calls us to enter depth and 
encounter Deep. Isn’t that the same hand that held Peter ever ready to hold you 
and me?Francis Gonsalves in ‘Sunday Seeds for Daily Deeds’
May we with faith launch out knowing He will uphold us!
Fr. Jude Botelho
PS. The stories, incidents and anecdotes used in the reflections have been 
collected over the years from books as well as from sources over the net and 
from e-mails received. Every effort is made to acknowledge authors whenever 
possible. If you send in stories or illustrations I would be grateful if you 
could quote the source as well so that they can be acknowledged if used in 
these reflections.These reflections are also available on my Web site 
www.NetForLife.net Thank you.

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