NINETEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
August 12-13, 2017
Human beings place much stock in flash and excitement in their perception of what is important. We value the loud, the brash and the shiny when we make our choices. In fact, if you really think about it, the flashy items are usually the worst possible choices. This bit of psychological reality is exploited quite regularly in “the world” to trick us into picking those things that are less important. It is no accident that casino’s utilize noise and flashing lights while they distract us from the fact that they are taking us down.
Unfortunately, we become accustomed to all the hype, and we begin to believe that the perception is the reality. The readings today however speak to subtly as a guide for what is truly important. What is really important rarely arrives with much aplomb. The things that we should really value, love, family, and God, are realities that are often overlooked due to their subtle natures. It is only through prayer and self-examination that we truly appreciate “the important” things in life. Elijah looked for God in the spectacular, and only discovered God in a barely perceptible whisper. St. Paul only “got it” when he was able to recognize that the spectacular was really the ordinary, that God became a human being and saved us by dying and rising from the dead. The Gospel reading ties these two notions together as Jesus makes his point to Peter. Peter gets caught up in the moment, the flash of the storm, the sudden appearance of Jesus, and he’s “all in”, walking on water and doing the spectacular, until reality sets in and he begins to sink. It is his lack of faith that enables him to receive the ultimate gift of faith that would change his life. We can all take some solace from that in our own search for God working subtly in our own lives.
– Barry Zavislan