18th Week in Ordinary Time
John Mary Vianney
Psalter: Week 2
Ps 119:9, 43, 79, 80, 95, 102
Lord, teach me your statutes.
1st Reading: Jer 28:1–17
Early in the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah, in the fifth month of the fourth year, the prophet Hananiah spoke to me. Hananiah son of Azzur from Gibeon proclaimed in Yahweh’s house in the presence of the priests and the people, “This is what Yahweh the God of Hosts and the God of Israel says: I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon. Within two years I will bring back to this place all the objects that king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon took away from Yahweh’s house and carried to Babylon. I will likewise bring back Jekoniah son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and all who were taken from Judah and deported to Babylon. For I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon—word of Yahweh.”
Then Jeremiah replied to Hananiah in the presence of the priests and all the people, “So be it! May Yahweh fulfill the words you have spoken and bring back from Babylon to this place the objects taken from the house of Yahweh and all the exiles. 7 Yet hear now what I say in your hearing and the hearing of all the people.
The prophets who came before you and me continually prophesied war, disaster and plague to many nations and great kingdoms. So the prophet who prophesies peace will not be recognized as truly sent by Yahweh, until his predictions are fulfilled.”
Then Hananiah took the yoke from the neck of Jeremiah and broke it. Hananiah proclaimed in the pres-ence of all the people, “Yahweh says this: In the same manner, within two years, will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar from the neck of all the nations.” Then Jeremiah the prophet went on his way.
Sometime later, a word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah, “Go and tell this to Hananiah: This is what Yahweh says: You have broken a wooden yoke but in its place you will get a yoke of iron.
For this is what Yahweh the God of Hosts and the God of Israel says: I am placing a yoke of iron on the neck of all the nations to make them serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and they will serve him. I will even give him control over the wild animals.”
Then Jeremiah said to Hananiah, “Listen! Hananiah, you have not been sent by Yahweh and yet you have deceived these people, giving them false hope with your lies. That is why Yahweh says with regard to you:
I am removing you from the face of the earth. You will die this very year because you have counseled rebellion against Yahweh.”
And in the seventh month of that year Hananiah died.
Gospel: Mt 14:22–36
Immediately, Jesus obliged his disciples to get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side, while he sent the crowd away.
And having sent the people away, he went up the mountain by himself, to pray. At nightfall, he was there alone. Meanwhile, the boat was very far from land, dangerously rocked by the waves, for the wind was against it.
At daybreak, Jesus came to them, walking on the sea. When they saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, thinking that it was a ghost. And they cried out in fear. But at once, Jesus said to them, “Courage! Don’t be afraid. It’s me!” Peter answered, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
Jesus said to him, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water to go to Jesus. But seeing the strong wind, he was afraid, and began to sink; and he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Jesus immediately stretched out his hand and took hold of him, saying, “Man of little faith, why did you doubt?”
As they got into the boat, the wind dropped. Then those in the boat bowed down before Jesus, saying, “Truly, you are the Son of God!”
They came ashore at Gennesaret. The local people recognized Jesus and spread the news throughout the region. So they brought to him all the sick people, begging him to let them touch just the hem of his cloak. All who touched it became perfectly well.
Jesus prayed and calmly walked above the turbulent lake, whereas His disciples who went ahead had to contend with the furious winds and waves that were set against them. Perhaps prayer has the capacity to still our inner world so much so that the chaos of the world outside does not unsettle us. This sets us apart from those who are easily affected and become fearful when the going gets tough. When we take time to pray before facing the world, its challenges and obstacles cannot daunt us. Peter learned the hard way when he requested to meet the Lord halfway and his courage faltered. The waves would have swallowed him up had Jesus not extended his hands. He was not prayerful enough to navigate the turbulent waters of life on his own. He would have to pray as Jesus prayed to overcome.
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