OMELIE / Omelie EN

13/08/2017 – 19th  Sunday of O. T.  – Year A 

13/08/2017 – 19th  Sunday of O. T.  – Year A 

1st reading.  1 Kings 19,9°.11-13a ;  Pslam  84/85  2  Romans 9,1-5  Gospel  Matthew14,22-33

Saint Paul tells us a secret, letting us see a hidden side of his heart. He has never forgotten to be Jewish and he has never denied neither his origins nor his people. He has answered God’s call, Who called him to follow Him, to struggle and suffer for Him and His Kingdom, but He has never asked him to hate, not even to neglect, all those people with whom, in the past, he has shared his religious belief. They have persecuted him to his dying day for his new faith, but he has continued to desire that they too could get that fullness of life with all that joy that he received in welcoming Jesus as his Lord. The refusal of Jesus by his people it is a great pain for him. He can see that they struggle needlessly in keeping their faithfulness to the laws and rules attributed to Moses. He knows that they will never reach that freedom, peace and communion that can only come from Jesus. For him too, his entire life before then has been only a preparation to welcome our Lord, and all the history of the patriarchs and prophets is really precious, but only as a prophecy about One that was going to come and who finally come, Jesus. He has been rejected and killed by His people, but this has been the path he had to follow in order to get to the resurrection, that new life in which He can include us as well. The story of Joseph sold by his brothers, become a slave and a prisoner in Egypt and then climbed up to the king’s side, it is great help to understand and accept Jesus’ journey. The Apostle bears all the time the suffering of seeing members of his people out of track, stubborn in their refusal of their salvation, notwithstanding the fact that the Lord come – in all the concreteness of the flesh – just thanks to their history and their existence, announced in advance by all the prophets.

Saint Paul’s pain is similar to that of many priests in the Church and of many parents too, that can see children, relatives, or people with whom they were sharing their faith up to yesterday, accepting other believes, denying themselves in this way that grace and interior communion: these gifts come only from the Holy Spirit, given by Jesus to whoever loves Him in the way that the holy Church introduces Him to us and allow us to meet Him.

We are under the impression that the Church really is that boat “hard pressed by rough waves, for there was a head-wind”. The wind of the world keeps violently blowing and hits the Church that has to sail through the Centuries in order to reach every man with Jesus’ salvation. Jesus was not in the boat, because He has retired by Himself to the hills “to pray”. Even more now that boat is like the Church today: we cannot see Jesus as well; he is seated at the right hand of the Father, where he can intercede for us, and we are under the impression to be alone, to need to save ourselves form the wind of the world, blowing menacingly, with our strength alone, with tricks and devices we have to make up. Can Jesus possibly have abandoned his people in danger? Can He have left us, knowing we are weak and tempted by those same spirits that rule and tear the world apart? Of course not. Behold, the disciples see Him, even without recognizing Him. They can see Him where they cannot even imagine to be able to see Him. He is walking on the storm-tossed water. The disciples’ fear increases. Is it not exactly this that happens to us as well, when we see that Jesus is right there, in the middle of the danger, in the middle of our enemies, where the ways to wipe the Church out of the face of the Earth and the believers’ heart are devised? Difficult situations are the occasions that He makes use of to reach us again and make clear to us His powerful and effective presence. In this way, we do not have any reasons to be afraid, we never have grounds for sadness, not even for complaining.

The Gospel tells us then about Peter’s reaction, who asks to imitate Jesus, to be able to walk on the water too. Peter however does not know yet that, in order to walk on the water towards Jesus, it is necessary to ignore the wind, even if it is really strong, even in case of head-wind, and to keep the eyes on our Lord while moving steadily towards Him. In order to imitate Jesus’ steps, it is necessary that we do not let the animosity of the world frighten us, and that we do not let it influence our decision and will to get closer to Him. It is not us, not even the Church that wins over the world: only Jesus and the faith in Him, with a firm will to stay united to Him, can save us from the storm of the winds of ideologies, slanders and animosities always there around it.

Peter was soaked in the water: this is good school for each one of us. Let us learn not to presume, not to give any weight to the way of thinking of the world, and to call for Jesus with a firm and persistent prayer, in case just for a moment we would have given way to discouragement, complaining or distrust. The faith will remain perseverant. With a firm faith that cannot be defeated, we will also be able to help those who have rejected Jesus, when they will realize that they “labour and are overburdened” by the sadness of sin and of the world.