Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

1 Kings 19:9a, 11-13a; Psalm 85:8ab and 9,10-11, 12-13 (R.v.7); Rom 9:1-5; Matt 14:22-33


Every sportsman knows the importance of fixing his gaze on the target that would win him the desired point. For instance, every goalkeeper that wants to be efficient at the goalpost must not keep his eyes away from the ball. The same thing happens in our journey of faith.

Jesus is object of faith. To win the prize, which is salvation, we must focus our gaze on him. Consider the drama that occurred in today’s Gospel in that light. Peter was indeed a man of faith, otherwise, he would not have taken a step onto the water, having thought Jesus to be a ghost (Matt 14:26). He had embarked on that journey because Jesus had invited him. Unfortunately, he removed his gaze on Jesus when he was face to face with the turbulent water, and so began to sink.

Many of us, like Peter, follow Christ faithfully when things are going well for us, but as soon as we are faced with little challenges of the world, we fell off. Many of us do fell off because we feel that there is somewhere else we can get more protection than in Jesus. But Jesus proved today that he is bigger than all our problems and every power that troubles the world.

The sea represents the kingdom of the evil powers. So, by walking on the water, Jesus shows that he is above those powers. Moreso, the turbulence of the water represents the different challenges we face as a result of our faith. St. Paul, in the Second Reading, faced such challenge as a result of his people’s faithlessness which was about to cost them the salvation that Christ brought. The Jews were sinking, but unlike Peter who cried out to Jesus, “Lord, save me,” they chose to stay out of that kingdom.

Do we blame the Jews for taking such a stand in unbelief? Let us note that their major problem was the fact that they did not understand the ways of God. They tried to use human standards, like Elijah in the First Reading, to evaluate the person of Jesus. They were expecting a great prophet whose arrival would be greeted with great signs and failed to see the Son of God in the humble servant of the lowly town of Nazareth. In the same way that many of us fail to see Jesus in the tiny bread of the Eucharist, which we receive at Mass and which is locked up in the tabernacle. Instead, we go in pursuit of Pastor A or B, who is going to wave hand to effect our miracle. Hence, we build our faith around a handkerchief instead of focusing on Christ.

Are you willing to remain with Jesus, make this declaration in faith:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name
On Christ the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand,

  1. When darkness seems to hide his face,
    I rest on his unchangịng grace;
    In ev’ry high and stormy gale,
    My anchor holds within the veil
  2. His oath, his covenant, his blood
    Support me in the whelming flood;
    When all around my soul gives way,
    He then is all my hope and stay.
  3. When he shall come with trumpet sound,
    Oh, may I then in him be found;
    Dressed in his righteousness alone,
    Faultless to stand before the throne
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