Monsoon is upon us. I still am not sure how to act after all these years. Stop the car? Slow down? Pull off the road? Dust storms and Monsoon deluges are not to be messed with. One needs to think quickly and keep one’s eyes and ears open. It flooded the friary basement a few weeks back. Some great volunteers helped us to clean up and dry out.
“The story of Elijah tells of the prophet’s struggle with strong winds and crushing rocks, all while trying to discern God’s still small voice. These challenging forces of nature serve as powerful metaphors for the confusion that happens in life. To really hear the voice of God, as did Elijah, one must be attuned to God and engage deeply with the suffering of others, especially the most vulnerable.
Today’s Gospel reveals a timid Peter inside a boat needing to be rescued by Jesus. In those times when we are unsure and most fragile, we all reflect a bit of Peter, reluctant to step out in the water of uncertainty, afraid to place full trust in God. Those are times when it is more comfortable to live our lives in the darkness, perhaps even within the confines of our churches. Many times, we are called to step out of our own comfort zone. In doing so, we are often led to unexpected moments of conversion.
The readings today shake us up. They generate a level of discomfort. We are always being drawn into uncharted territories, places where the still small voice can only be heard if we quiet and align our hearts to God. The master teaches us the art of walking on water.
Like Jesus, we are all meant to work for the empowerment of the marginalized. As ministers to and with others, will we choose darkness or will we revel in the light that heals, transforms and casts out all fear? (Adapted from, “The Light that Rocks the Boat” by Celebration’s Doug Langner.)
This Sunday marks my third year as pastor and rector of St. Mary’s. We’ve weathered some storms together. Many thanks for your patience with me, and trust. We friars continue to be awed and grateful for the Catholic heritage of central Phoenix. The amazing families and heroes of St. Mary’s have so mutually enriched us. Together with the Food Bank and High School, we continue to be the caretakers of that legacy. Much to come. Keep us in prayer and know that you are part of the Liturgy of the Hours we pray every morning and evening.
A gentle week,
Fr. Michael Weldon, OFM