Sunday, August 10, 2014

Today's Mass Readings - Sunday, August 10, 2014 with Reflection

1ST READING - 1 Kings 19:9, 11-13
At the mountain of God, Horeb, Elijah came to a cave where he took shelter. 11 Then the Lord said to him, “Go outside and stand on the mountain before the Lord; the Lord will be passing by.” A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the Lord — but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake — but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake there was fire — but the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound. 13 When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went and stood at the entrance of the cave.
P S A L M - Psalm 85:9, 10, 11-12, 13-14
R: Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.
8 [9] I will hear what God proclaims; the Lord — for he proclaims peace. 9 [10] Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him, glory dwelling in our land. (R) 10 [11] Kindness and truth shall meet; justice and peace shall kiss. 11 [12] Truth shall spring out of the earth, and justice shall look down from heaven. (R) 12 [13] The Lord himself will give his benefits; our land shall yield its increase. 13 [14]Justice shall walk before him, and salvation, along the way of his steps. (R)
2nd READING - Romans 9:1-5
Brothers and sisters: I speak the truth in Christ, I do not lie; my conscience joins with the Holy Spirit in bearing me witness that I have great sorrow and constant anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my own people, my kindred according to the flesh. They are Israelites; theirs the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; theirs the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.

I wait for the Lord; my soul waits for his word.
Matthew 14:22-33
22 After he had fed the people, Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone. 24Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. 25 During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them, walking on the sea. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. “It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear.27 At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” 28 Peter said to him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught Peter, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 After they got into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying, “Truly, you are the Son of God.”



Following on from yesterday’s reflection, I would like to ask what the nature of the so-called “right to bear arms” amendment in the Constitution really means. It was passed over 200 years ago when there was no such thing as an ammunition clip capable of holding tens of rounds of ammunition. It was passed at a time when guns are shot once and then you had to virtually stop and reload them before firing again. I would like to see someone make the argument that that is all that the amendment applies to, and thus, all the modern military arsenals would be out of reach to ordinary citizens. Modern weapons are designed as assault weapons and not for defense purposes. I am sure that the intention of the “right to bear arms” amendment had defense in mind, not aggression. If it is the latter, then the amendment is about as immoral as one possibly could be.

       In the Gospel today, Jesus reaches out to catch Peter from sinking into the water as his faith wavered. My faith in the humanity of the U.S. Constitution’s amendment relating to the right to bear arms has totally disappeared. Not even Jesus could resurrect it. My faith in the lawmakers to act responsibly is not far behind and can be redeemed only if they act quickly (by the time you are reading this, all assault weapons should be outlawed) and decisively. Without such action, no politician in the U.S. can claim to hold the moral ground. If such a measure is defeated on the floor of the Houses, then at least the people would know who among the politicians need to be thrown out at the next election. There are no more excuses available to anyone on this matter.

       Jesus never compromises the truth in His ministry. He is not afraid to challenge the status quo. He is not concerned with popularity or what others may think of Him. He only knows what He must do to be faithful to His Father’s will and to the truth. Let us all pray that we will be as committed to a life of holiness and grace as Jesus was. Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL
REFLECTION QUESTION: In any given situation, which would you choose: God’s laws or man-made laws?
Jesus, You never contemplated acting against the truth or dignity of a human person. Help me to be always faithful in protecting and promoting the same in my life.

St. Lawrence, deacon and martyr, pray for us.

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