19th Sunday of Ordinary Time Year A

19th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle A

Pulpit Plan

Theme :           Don’t let doubt get in the way of Faith!

1st Reading:     1 Kings 19:9.11-13

Responsorial Psalm:     Ps 85

2nd Reading:     Romans 9:1-5

Gospel :           Matthew 14: 22-33

 

  • Elijah lived 900 years before Christ at a time of great political and social change!
  • A man called Omri had taken power and begun to transform the kingdom:
    • He built a new capital city,
    • He made alliances with other nations,
    • He stimulated production and fostered trade, and
    • Strengthened his army!
      • He turned Israel into a rich and powerful nation!
    • However, he arranged a marriage between his son Ahab and Jezebel, the daughter of the king of Tyre that had disastrous consequences!
      • Because she introduced customs from her own country, and
      • attempted to destroy the faith of Israel in God!
    • Elijah warned Ahab and the people about this and so created an enemy of queen Jezebel – as you can imagine!
      • Because the queen is so powerfully bad, Elijah runs away in fear for his life!
    • While we might not have to challenge an evil queen,
      • all of us can identify with Elijah!
      • There are situations in our lives, that are not easy to challenge or criticise and so scare us!
    • All of us have been in situations that did not feel right, or made us uncomfortable!
      • All of us have experienced times when we should have said something
      • or challenged someone, we knew to have been wrong!
        • Yet, we did not; we chickened out!
      • Fear can paralyse –
        • Fear can keep us from stepping out of our caves!
        • Fear is an enemy of faith
        • Fear blinds us to what faith allows us to see
        • Fear makes us hide rather than to face the truth faith often confronts us with!
      • Elijah had to overcome his fear of queen Jezebel – he had to come out of the cave and find the courage of his faith!
      • Peter too, was invited to leave the relative security of the boat and walk on the raging sea; the churning waves!
      • Because we are just like Elijah and St. Peter, we can allow life’s worries and concerns keep us isolated and alone or distract us!
      • This time of
        • pandemic,
        • financial disaster
        • rampant corruption and
        • dishonest political leadership
          • – are bound to make us fear!
        • And like the disciples in the boat who had to battle the storm for many hours – we may feel tired and hopeless by the continued effort we have to make to just stay afloat!
        • But the readings today, reveal a God that is in control!
          • A God whose power is greater than anything we have to fear!
        • That’s our faith – deep down we believe it to be true!
          • And it is this faith and trust in God that gets us out of our caves and raging sea;
            • and back into the world!
          • Peter had faith – but he also had doubts!
          • Doubts are not bad, except when they erode and destroy our faith; causing us to sink into the craziness of the world’s problems!
          • Peter had faith that Jesus could help him to walk on the sea, but
            • Fright drowned out that faith!
          • We are people of faith – we are also people with doubts
            • When we turn our attention from Jesus and allow the winds of doubt to blow us off course;
              • We are bound to sink!
            • Sure, there are things that will and do frighten us!
              • But we cannot let them be our focus!
                • Jesus is our focus!
              • When our focus is on Jesus, we can see our trials and challenges in their proper perspective!
              • Our faith must be enough to assure us that we will overcome!
                • With Jesus, we are able to walk through the storms without sinking!
                • With Jesus, we are able to come out of our dark caves;
              • Now is the time to keep focused on Jesus,
              • Our suffering world needs us!
                • It needs us to hear again the voice of God calling us to trust; to faith!
              • Our world needs us to come out of our caves and boats and to live with faith!

 

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