AUGUST 3. Ord Time B. Wk 18. Tue. Mt 14. 22-36
Updated: Aug 28
Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he would send the crowds away. After sending the crowds away he went up into the hills by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, while the boat, by now far out on the lake, was battling with a heavy sea, for there was a head-wind. In the fourth watch of the night he went towards them, walking on the lake, and when the disciples saw him walking on the lake they were terrified. ‘It is a ghost’ they said, and cried out in fear. But at once Jesus called out to them, saying, ‘Courage! It is I! Do not be afraid.’ It was Peter who answered. ‘Lord,’ he said ‘if it is you, tell me to come to you across the water.’ ‘Come’ said Jesus. Then Peter got out of the boat and started walking towards Jesus across the water, but as soon as he felt the force of the wind, he took fright and began to sink. ‘Lord! Save me!’ he cried. Jesus put out his hand at once and held him. ‘Man of little faith,’ he said ‘why did you doubt?’ And as they got into the boat the wind dropped. The men in the boat bowed down before him and said, ‘Truly, you are the Son of God.’
Having made the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret. When the local people recognised him they spread the news through the whole neighbourhood and took all that were sick to him, begging him just to let them touch the fringe of his cloak. And all those who touched it were completely cured.
After the crowd of five thousand had been taught, and then fed; - from five loaves and two fish; - they had no intention of leaving; - so Jesus sent the disciples away first, to signify the end of the gathering. And then he sent the crowd away.
After he was alone, he then gave time to the needs of the Father. We often overlook what God the Father wants of us, as we are so focused on our earthly tasks, but the truth is God also has “needs”; - in that he desires we give him time; - via prayer and worship.
This is an important teaching; - we tend to see time for God and Prayer as something we do “if and when we have time; - but this was not how Christ saw it, even going without rest. We are told it was “the fourth watch of the night” when his prayer ended; - which means the night was well advanced.
And then he immediately turns his attention again to the needs of his disciples who were struggling with wild weather on the lake; - so he went to them; - walking on the water. Given all the miracles they had witnessed this should not have surprised them, but we are told it “Terrified them!”
Peter seemed to have grasped Christ’s divinity, in that he asked if he could also walk on the water, and he was invited to do so; - but when he felt the force of the wind, he was frightened, and began to sink; - an opportunity Christ took to yet again teach his disciples; - “‘Man of little faith,’ he said ‘why did you doubt?’ He wants his followers to have faith in both his divinity and his teachings!
This gospel reading reveals how Christ spent all his time caring for the needs of others; - preaching, healing, and feeding the crowds; - teaching his disciples; - and giving time to Prayer and Worship of the Father; - while showing very little concern for himself!
A lesson he wants us to heed; - and imitate; - within the framework of our life circumstances!
It's called Love of God and Neighbour!
Gospel Acclamation Jn1:49
Master, you are the Son of God,
you are the king of Israel.
FIRST READING: Numbers 12:1-13 ·
Miriam, and Aaron too, spoke against Moses in connexion with the Cushite woman he had taken. (For he had married a Cushite woman.) They said, ‘Has the Lord spoken to Moses only? Has he not spoken to us too?’
The Lord heard this. Now Moses was the most humble of men, the humblest man on earth. Suddenly, the Lord said to Moses and Aaron and Miriam, ‘Come, all three of you, to the Tent of Meeting.’ They went, all three of them, and the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the Tent. He called Aaron and Miriam and they both came forward. The Lord said, ‘Listen now to my words: If any man among you is a prophet I make myself known to him in a vision, I speak to him in a dream. Not so with my servant Moses: he is at home in my house; I speak with him face to face, plainly and not in riddles, and he sees the form of the Lord. How then have you dared to speak against my servant Moses?’
The anger of the Lord blazed out against them. He departed, and as soon as the cloud withdrew from the Tent, there was Miriam a leper, white as snow! Aaron turned to look at her; she had become a leper.
Aaron said to Moses: ‘Help me, my lord! Do not punish us for a sin committed in folly of which we are guilty. I entreat you, do not let her be like a monster, coming from its mother’s womb with flesh half corrupted.’
Moses cried to the Lord, ‘O God,’ he said ‘please heal her, I beg you!’
We are told Moses was "the most humble of men, the humblest man on earth" ; - while Aaron and Miriam were envious God had chosen not to speak to them in the same way.