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Gospel reflection

August 9, 2020: Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading: Matthew 14:22-33

Jesus made the disciples get in their boat and precede him to the other side while he dismissed the crowd. Then Jesus went up the mountain to pray alone. Meanwhile, the boat had drifted a few miles off shore and was being tossed by the waves. During the fourth watch of the night, the disciples were terrified by the waves and water.

They then saw Jesus coming toward them from the shore, walking on the water. The disciples were terrified at the sight of Jesus coming toward them. “It is a ghost!” they shouted, in great fear. At once Jesus called out to them, “Do not be afraid — take courage, it is I.” Peter called back, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”  Jesus called to Peter, “Come!”  Peter got out of the boat walking toward Jesus.  But the waves became overpowering and Peter began to sink crying out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately, Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, saying, “Oh you of little faith.  Why did you doubt.”  Those who were in the boat responded to this with awe saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”


This miracle of Jesus is not only one of the most remembered miracles; it is one of the most important faith stories, as well.

This theme of trust runs strongly, not only through Scripture, but through nearly every thread of our everyday living, from much anticipated wedding and religious vows, and far beyond.  The core of this passage is the trust that is fundamental to how we live and how we show trust and how we struggle with our “unbelief.”


Spend some time with this story and these questions. Call to mind the characters you see in some of your real life trust issues. Are you Jesus saying “Oh you of little faith, why did you doubt me?” Or are you struggling to be the believer in your own stories of faith and courage?  How would you define “miracle” in your life? 

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Sister Ann Sullivan

Sister Ann Sullivan, SP, has been a Sister of Providence since 1964. Her primary ministry through those years has been teaching, grades one through graduate level. She presently ministers as a consultant. She has also ministered as director of a mental health center and was founding director of White Violet Center for Eco-Justice. In her free time you will find Sister Ann enjoying nature in as many ways as possible, especially working in a large perennial and a small vegetable garden. She also values time with family and friends.

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