August 2017

Sunday 6th August: Trinity 8: Matthew 14; 15-21

 

Jesus had just heard of the death of his cousin, John the Baptist.  He wanted to be alone but the crowds followed him.  Despite his own sadness, Jesus had compassion on them and gave them food.  He never stopped giving of himself to others.  There is need everywhere – physical, social and emotional.  As followers of Jesus we too must try to reach out to people in need.  Doing so often helps us too.

 

Is there someone in need near you?  What could you do to help?

As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Bring them here to me,” he said.  And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.  They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.  The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

13th August: Trinity 9: Matthew 14; 22-33

 

Having fed the crowd, Jesus took time by himself to pray.  In the morning the disciples were in the boat and a storm blew up.  Jesus came to them, and Peter tried to reach him, but his faith wavered.  Jesus saved him and calmed the storm and only then did Peter trust again.  We have storms in our lives – difficulties to face.  However we feel, Jesus is always there to support us.  All we need to do I reach out and trust him.

 

Think of a time when Jesus helped you n a time of difficulty.  Did you trust him?  Thank him and ask him to strengthen your faith.

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd.  After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.  When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.  But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

20th August: Trinity 10: Matthew 15: 21-28

Jesus came first to save the Jews – the race chosen by God to follow and serve him.  As the Gospels unfold we see how others, Gentiles, turned to Jesus too, recognising his power.  Jesus tested the faith of the Canaanite woman, but she persisted, knowing that he could help her.  Jesus responded, recognising her faith.  This story reminds us that Jesus is there for anyone who turns to him.

How strong is your faith?  Are you sure Jesus is there for you? Tell him how you feel.

Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.  A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.” Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”  “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.

27th August: Trinity 11: Matthew 16 13-20

The disciples had been with Jesus for some time.  He asked them who people thought he was.  The Jesus turned to them with the real question – “Who do you say that I am?” Peter has a flash of divine inspiration and proclaims him to be the Messiah.  This was the beginning of a long, hard journey for Peter – his denial of Jesus, Jesus’ crucifixion, the joy of his resurrection, receiving the Holy Spirit, responsibility as a leader in the early church, and finally his own martyrdom.  Jesus had recognised qualities in Peter which he could use.

We, like Peter, sometimes falter, but Jesus recognises qualities in us that he can use.  How has Jesus called you to serve him?

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.




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