Education & Evangelization
Overcoming our Fears
To understand our Gospel for this Sunday, we start with a simple question: Why did Peter sink in the waters of the lake? The obvious answer was that he took his eyes OFF Jesus. As long as he kept the figure of Jesus before his eyes, he did very well, walking on the water towards Him. But once he took his eyes off Jesus and began to think about the high waves and the wind, down he went. This shows us then, that Peter lacked faith. He was so overcome by the force of nature that he completely forgot that the Lord of nature was right there before him. In fact, he seems to have forgotten that; yes, he was actually walking on water! Having forgotten that, down he went into the depth of the sea.
Now, we ask ourselves another question, one that is more basic: What precisely does FAITH consist of? How can we define it? Well, is it not true that Faith is something related to God and to our own self? The words of Jesus seem to indicate that this is so. He says to Peter, " How little faith you have!" Then He added, " Why did you falter? " The answer of Jesus' question would be, of course, that Peter did not have deep faith in Jesus. This is obvious.
Faith, of course, means that we believe in God. But when we believe in God, do we not also, at least to some extent, believe in our own self? If our faith in God is strong, it means at the time, our faith in our own self is strong: we believe in and accept oneself, we have the ability to say, " I am a good person. I have certain talents and gifts that God has given to me; I am precious in the sight of God." We can say this, precisely because of our faith in God. Thus, God is always, first and foremost in our heart, although in the practical working out of our daily lives – the two – faith in God and faith in one's self become intermingled.
As a final reflection, let us ask ourselves another question: How often do we put ourselves in Peter's position? We start off so strongly, but then, forgetting the presence of God in our hearts, we weaken, become fearful, and draw back from a full commitment to some task.
Let us thank God for creating us as we are and for the gifts He has given to each of us. And let us ask Him to help us to be bold in our life, to OVERCOME ALL OUR FEARS because we realize that He is always with us. Since Stewardship is a way of life and not simply a program of Church support, the most important ingredient in any effort to encourage giving of Time, Talent and Treasure is the PERSONAL WITNESS of individuals who have experienced a change of heart as a result of their commitment to stewardship. For this reason, parishes are strongly encouraged to ground their stewardship and development programs in the PERSONAL WITNESS of the pastors, staffs and volun- teers. This is the first step of the seven steps to success in promoting the gifts of Time, Talent and Treasure in the Parish. The next steps will be discussed in following weeks of August and September.
Ten days ago, we ended July with the feast of the great saint, St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit Order. There are now 18,200 member devoted to their order. We started August 1, with the memorial of St. Alphonsus Liguori, the founder of the Redemptorist Order (C.SSR) with 5,400 members to this day. On the 2 nd day, we celebrated the memorial of St. Peter Julian Eymard, the founder of the Congregation of the Bl. Sacrament (S.S.S.) in 1856. There are about 900 members devoted to the worship and apostolate of the Eucharist. St. John Marie Vianney's feast was celebrated on the 4th of August. He is the Patron Saint of diocesan priests and pastors. On August 8, we had the memorial of St. Dominic De Guzman, the founder of the Order of Preachers (O.P), today numbering about 6,500 men professed in this order. This month of August is truly a month of great saints who founded religious orders. It is up to us now to choose any of them so that we can imitate them in daily Christian living. This is all for now, watch for the next bulletin.
Your priest-servant and administrator,
- AUG 17
Open House Sun, Aug 17Read more
Classes start Sun, Sep 7
- SEP 6
the weekend of Sep 6/7Read more
- SEP 27
at Ss. Simon and Jude CathedralRead more
- OCT 22
Wednesday mornings beginning Wed, Oct 22Read more