13TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Psalter: Week 4 / (Green/White)
St. Elizabeth of Portugal, married woman, queen
Ps 26:2-3, 9-10, 11-12
O Lord, your mercy is before my eyes.
1st Reading: Gen 19:15-29
At daybreak the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and two daughters who are here, lest they perish because of the sin of the town.“ As he hesitated, the men took him by the hand and his wife and two daughters with him, because Yahweh had mercy on him. And they led him outside the town.
When they were outside, the visitors said to him, “Flee for your life and don’t look back and don’t stop anywhere in the plain. Flee to the mountain lest you perish.“
But Lot replied, “My lords, your servant has found favor with you, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life. But I cannot flee to the mountains for fear the disaster will overtake me and I die. See, there is a town near enough for me to flee to and it’s a small one. Let me flee there: it is very small (that is why the town is called Zoar). So I will be safe.“ And the angel answered, “I grant you this favor as well by not destroying the town you speak of. But flee fast for I can do nothing until you arrive there.“
The sun had risen on the earth when Lot reached Zoar. Then Yahweh rained on Sodom and Gomorrah burning sulfur out of the heavens from Yahweh, and he completely destroyed those towns and all the valley and all the inhabitants of the towns and everything that grew there.
Lot’s wife looked back and she became a pillar of salt.
Early next morning Abraham returned to the place where he had stood before Yahweh. He looked towards Sodom and Gomorrah and towards all the land of the valley and he saw smoke rising from the earth like the smoke from a furnace.
So when God destroyed the towns of the plain he remembered Abraham and made Lot escape from the catastrophe while he destroyed the cities where Lot had lived.
Gospel: Mt 8:23-27
Jesus got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a fierce storm burst upon the lake, with waves sweeping the boat. But Jesus was asleep.
The disciples woke him up and cried, “Lord save us! We are lost!“ But Jesus answered, “Why are you so afraid, you of little faith?“ Then he stood up and rebuked the wind and sea; and it became completely calm.
The disciples were astonished. They said, “What kind of man is he? Even the winds and the sea obey him.“
The story about Jesus calming the storm at sea reminds us of an important truth. Following Jesus does not guarantee a life that is free from crises or “storms“. Nevertheless, we are assured that Jesus Our Lord is present in the various storms of our lives. More often than not we interpret the crises, difficulties or problems we face as manifestations of God’s disfavor. What the Gospel tells us can give us a lot of comfort: He is neither absent nor uncaring; the Lord Jesus is with us right in the middle of the storm. He will not allow us to perish. He has all the power to calm the storms of our lives if we approach Him in faith, seeking his divine assistance.
The boat is often taken as a symbol of the Church that is tossed about by the waves of crises. But, as he promised to Simon Peter, the Lord Jesus is always with his Church. Even when he seems asleep, he “will never allow the powers of evil to prevail against it“ (Matthew 16:18)
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Biblical Texts are taken from Christian Community Bible, Catholic Pastoral Edition (57th Edition) The New English Translation for the ROMAN MISSAL
With permission from the EPISCOPAL COMMISION ON LITURGY of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines
Readings and Reflections
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