- The Abbey of the Genesee - http://www.geneseeabbey.org -

August 8, 2017

Fr. Jerome Machar, OCSO [1]

18th Tuesday in Ordinary Time
Memorial of Saint Dominic
Numbers 12:1-13; Matthew 14:22-36

Today’s first reading gives us an interesting description of Moses. “Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth” (Num. 12:3). It was his humility that set him up as a target of abuse by his siblings. His elder brother and sister considered themselves equal to, if not superior to their baby brother. Faced with their jealous rivalry, this humble man of God did not fight back in rage, but turned to the Lord Who called him to straighten out the family dysfunction. God not only answered Aaron and Miriam’s complaints, but He also praised Moses. In making the point, God made the elder siblings stop and consider what exactly they were doing. When they dissed Moses, they were actually dissing God.

Following Moses’ example, we should bring our family issues to God rather than trying to fix them on our own. Because no family is perfect we need to turn to God in prayer, begging for wisdom, mercy and insight. Sin has driven family members apart, only God’s merciful love can bring them back together. If we open our hearts to God, He can show us the path to reconciliation and how to heal the broken relationships. Though our relationships be tossed and blown, we need not be afraid of the storms. It is good to know that amid the howling of the winds and the dashing of the waves, the Lord is with us. Remember that, especially when you feel yourself to be abandoned. At those moments, we need to wait for the dim twilight and watch for the tokens of Christ’s presence. After the storm, comes a hush of calm and a gentle voice: “Take courage, I am here. Be not afraid.”

Jesus invited Peter out of the boat, not just to have his walk on the waves with Him; not just to experience the Lord’s power; but to recognize his utter dependence on God’s infinite care for him. The Lord called to the heart of his disciple, moving him at the depths of his being. Similarly, when our relationships are in turmoil, He speaks to our hearts. We need to keep our eyes on Christ. Like Peter, when we look away from Christ, we become overwhelmed. If, like Peter, we acknowledge our weakness and call out for help, Jesus will stretch out His arm and support us. No matter how stormy the times, Jesus is always there to help us. “It is I, be not afraid.” We need never fear facing life’s challenges alone, because in our darkest and most challenging moments the Lord is with us. We need to listen to the voice of the Master Who alone can bring us to the fullness of life. So, my brothers and sisters, using the lyrics from an old song,

Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown
Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone
(Rodgers & Hammerstein)