Today is Monday the 1st August, the feast of Saint Alphonsus Mary de Liguori.
The St Thomas Music Group sing the Prayer of St Theresa by Margaret Rizza.
Let nothing disturb you, nothing distress you. While all things fade away, God is unchanging. Be patient, for with God in your heart, nothing is lacking. God is enough.
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Matthew.
Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning he came walking towards them on the lake. But when the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’
Peter answered him, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’ He said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came towards Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’ When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshipped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’
When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret. After the people of that place recognized him, they sent word throughout the region and brought all who were sick to him, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.
This is a vivid scene. Can you picture yourself in a small boat, in stormy weather, as dawn breaks? Then seeing a ghostly figure approaching you across the waves. What might your own first reaction be?
Jesus says, as he says so often in the gospels, “Do not be afraid”. That’s when the disciples in the boat begin to recognise him. Hear Jesus say those same words to you, now, in whatever situation you’re in. “Do not be afraid.” How do you react?
As the passage is read again, listen out for the different reactions of the disciples as the story unfolds.
The passage ends with everybody round about bringing their needs to Jesus. Speak to him of your own needs in these final moments of prayer.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.