Sunday, August 13, 2017 Lectionary 19 Introduction
Elijah finds the presence of God not in earthquake, wind, or fire, but in the sound of sheer silence. When the disciples face a great storm on the sea, they cry out with fear. Jesus says: “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” Amid the storms of life, we gather to seek the calm presence of Christ that soothes our fears. In comforting words of scripture and in the refreshing bread and cup of the eucharist, God grants us peace and sends us forth to be a sign of God’s presence to others.
Prayer of the Day
O God our defender, storms rage around and within us and cause us to be afraid. Rescue your people from despair, deliver your sons and daughters from fear, and preserve us in the faith of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
First Reading: 1 Kings 19:9-18
On Mount Horeb, where God had appeared to Moses with typical signs of God’s presence—earthquake, wind, and fire—Elijah now experienced God in “sheer silence.” God assured Elijah that he is not the only faithful believer. Seven thousand Israelites are still loyal. God instructed Elijah to anoint two men as kings and to anoint Elisha as his own successor.
Psalm: Psalm 85:8-13
I will listen to what the Lord God is saying. (Ps. 85:8)
Second Reading: Romans 10:5-15
A right relationship with God is not something we achieve by heroic efforts. It is a gift received in the proclamation whose content is Jesus Christ. This proclaimed word creates our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Hence Christian proclamation is an indispensable component of God’s saving actions.
Gospel: Matthew 14:22-33
Matthew’s gospel typically portrays Jesus’ disciples as people of “little faith” who fail despite their best intentions. In this story, Matthew shows how Jesus comes to the disciples when they are in trouble and sustains them in their time of fear and doubt.