1 Kings 19:9,11-13; Romans 9:1-5; Matthew 14:22-23
Dear sisters and brothers, listen to the sound of silence:
In Elijah’s case, things go differently. As before, there is a mighty wind, an earthquake, and 'fire' (lightning). But the Lord is not 'in' any of these. Instead, after the fire comes 'a sound of sheer silence' (so NSRV; the Hebrew original reads literally: 'a voice of thin silence'). Covering his face (lest he look upon the Lord and die), Elijah goes out to the entrance of the cave, where he is addressed by God and given a new mission.
This is one of the great moments of revelation in the Old Testament. What lifts Elijah out of his depression and renews his vocation is a totally new sense of God. The Lord once manifest in terrifying upheavals of nature is now known in something as subtle and gentle as 'sheer silence,' a silence that somehow has a 'voice'. The Judaeo-Christian mystical tradition has its foundation here.
The Gospel, Matt 14:22-33, follows on directly from the miraculous provision of food for the multitude, as described in last week’s Gospel. Jesus sends his disciples off to cross the lake by boat while he disperses the crowd and goes up the mountain alone to pray. The disciples struggling to make headway in a boat out on the lake are symbolic of the later Church in a situation in which it so often finds itself. In biblical thought wind and water out of control are stock images of chaos and destruction. The scene of the disciples battling a head-wind and heavy seas while Jesus remains apart on the mountain evokes a sense of the Church struggling against forces that threaten to engulf it, keenly sensing all the while the physical absence of its Lord.
Eventually, of course, Jesus joins the disciples, walking on the sea – in biblical imagery a prerogative of God (Ps 77:19; Job 9:8; Isa 43:16). The phrase with which he identifies himself, “It is I”, evokes the self-identification of God to Moses at the Burning Bush (Exod 3:13-15). The presence of Jesus ('Emmanuel' [Matt 1:23 and 28:20]) is at one and the same time the saving presence of God.
What prompts Peter’s bid to come to Jesus across the sea? Love, boldness, bravado? Perhaps all three – but also a measure of faith. Faith in Jesus enables Peter, for a time at least, to tread underfoot the watery forces of destruction. But his faith, like that of all disciples in Matthew’s Gospel, is prone to doubt.
Jesus’ gentle word of remonstrance, after he has rescued Peter, 'O you of little faith, why did you doubt?', addresses all members of the Church. Peter 'models' the mixture of boldness and fear, strength and weakness, characteristic of us all. We can make our own his cry for rescue ('Lord, save me') and feel as he felt the Lord’s strong hand of rescue reaching out to raise us from the deep.
Members of the Church, especially perhaps at the present time, can take great comfort from this scene. The Gospel recognises that there will be times of stress and danger when faith will be sorely tested and sometimes fail. But this does not mean that 'Emmanuel' is not with us, swift and sure to rescue, when, like Peter, we cry 'Lord, save us'.
As Jesus and Peter get into the boat, the wind subsides and the disciples 'worship' him saying, 'Truly, you are the Son of God'? Like Elijah at Horeb, they have come to a new awareness of God’s saving presence among them. The Gospel suggests that such new awareness can be the outcome of crises in which the Church experiences weakness, failure, and faltering of faith.
Dear brothers and sisters; may God give us grace of silence to hear Him deep within our heart away from the din of the world. May He give us wisdom to encounter him in our struggles and happiness; may His presence comfort us and lead us across the ocean to eternal life. Amen
Holy Trinity Confirmation – Saturday 8th August 5.30pm St Anthony’s Church
Today we pray for the children making their Confirmation: Mia Adams, Tom Adams, Jacob Blades, Anna Fascione, Sophie Flood, Harry Frampton, Liam Frampton, Blythe Lindsay, Thomas Monahan, Alice Mulhern, Maria Revelant, Cobie Smith, Joseph O'Donovan and Rueben Webley.
We congratulate these children on taking another step in their faith journey.
Let us pray for all those who are unwell especially Hazel Kingston, Nesi Tan, Warren Stevenson, John Cairns-Cowan and Graeme Adams and those recovering at home including Eddie Wilkins. And we pray for the wonderful people who are caring for the everyday needs of the sick in our Community.
We also pray for the members of our Parish families who have died recently especially Franco Zanotto and those whose anniversaries occur around this time; Gordon Paterson, Denis Clarke, Umberto Monastra, Catherine (Kay) Maud, Peter Bower, Mary (Molly) Harnett, Eileen Hare, Mary O’Brien, Mary Golding and Elizabeth Curry .
The following measures will remain till further notice:
A Memorial Mass for Susan Jaimeson’s mother Marjorie Joan Critchley Rae, who passed away in England last year, will be held at St Patrick’s Church Kilbirnie Church 9.30am Tuesday 11th August.
FEAST of ASSUMPTION of the BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
This is a HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION
10am St Patrick’s Church
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion: Father will be meeting the remaining Eucharistic Ministers or those interested in becoming a Eucharistic Minister after Mass in each of the churches next weekend (15/16 August) who did not meet with him in March.
Please make sure you attend one of these sessions. Thank you
Proclaimers of the Word: Father will be meeting with all proclaimers of the word or anyone interested in becoming a proclaimer of the word after Mass in each of the churches in September (15/16 and 19/20 September).
Please make sure you attend one of these sessions. Thank you
Altar server training
Any child/ren who are keen to train to be altar servers can contact Andrew Greening 380 6052 or 027 438 5393 and arrange a session. A parent or other adult must be willing to be present while the training is taking place.
Vinnies Food Bank Appeal Saturday 29 August / 11am – 6pm at Pak n Save Kilbirnie
The St Vincent de Paul Society is holding their final Food Bank Appeal, collecting food to support individuals and families seeking food assistance over the coming holiday season.
Vinnies provide a choice-based food bank, supporting over 2000 people each year – which is only made possible by the generous donations from our community.
If you can afford to drop a few extra items in your trolley on Saturday 29 August, please look out for our Vinnies collection table.
ST ANTHONY'S SCHOOL QUIZ NIGHT Friday 21st August, 7pm at Seatoun Bowling Club - mark it in your calendars now! Form a team, or join one on the night. Tickets $20 per person, includes 3 Raffle Tickets.
Funds raised will go towards the Senior Playground at St Anthony's School.
Tickets available from the School Office, & will also be available after 5.30pm Mass at St Anthony's on Saturday 15th August. Donations for the raffles gratefully accepted at the school office.
St Catherine’s College Enrolments Enrolments are now open at St Catherine's College. If you would like to make an interview with our Principal, Steve Bryan or come and look around please phone us on 04 9398988 or email us on email@example.com. We still have preference and non-preference spaces available. We also have limited scholarships for families needing extra financial assistance, to pay $1000 towards your attendance Dues fees to the Archdiocese.
St Catherine's College aims to nurture and empower our young women to be active and creative learners.
St Catherine’s College will be celebrating Mass for the Assumption at St Patrick’s Church Thursday 13th August 2pm.
Publications for sale
Tui Motu - $7
NZ Catholic - $4
Put money in the zip lock bag provided and pop in the collection box in the church
Apply now – The Suzanne Aubert Tertiary Scholarship is open Tertiary students in the Archdiocese of Wellington and the Diocese of Palmerston North who are entering into their third year or more of study are invited to apply for a Suzanne Aubert Tertiary Scholarship. Each student selected receives $3,000 towards their third year of tertiary study. For more details contact Kevin Crighton at firstname.lastname@example.org https://compassion.org.nz/latest-news/suzanne-aubert-tertiary-scholarship/ for application. Closes on 16 October 2020.
The August 9 – 22 issue of NZ Catholic is out now. Some headlines are: Priests shouldn’t promote political parties. Auckland’s Mercy Spirituality Centre closes. Vatican instruction gives guidance on parish reforms. St Paul a model for ecumenical dialogue.
The next issue of NZ Catholic will be published on August 23. Selected pages from this paper in digital form will be sent to parishes next week.
Coast to Coast Rosary On the 15 August the feast of the Assumption of Our Lady into heaven, our patronal feast, there is to be a Coast to Coast Rosary throughout New Zealand. The main intention is to pray for the honouring of the gift of life. So many lives are lost in abortion and euthanasia.
We will pray in reparation and intercession for a culture of life to prevail in our society. We will host an event on Saturday, the 15th August in the Blessed Sacrament chapel in the Cathedral at 3 pm followed by afternoon tea. Everyone is invited.
Miramar Christian School open evening 20th August 6-7pm.
41 Camperdown Rd, Miramar, Wellington. http://www.christian.school.nz/
Tawa Healing Service On Tuesday 18 August Fr John Rea will conduct a Healing Service in Our Lady of Fatima Church , Tawa beginning at 7.30 pm. All are invited and especially those who need Jesus` healing. Jesus still heals today.
Matthew 28:9 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
JOSHUA FELLOWSHIP Come and join other men on Thursday 20th August 2020. A cuppa available from 7:00pm for a 7:30pm start in CONNOLLY HALL, Guildford Terrace, Thorndon (behind the closed Sacred Heart Cathedral). Speaker: Gerard Wickrema, a Joshua leader on “Many are called; few are chosen” Want to know more? Ring Steve Ready 027-356-9555 or email: email@example.com
Pax Christi Aotearoa New Zealand invites you to remember the tragedy that is war, on this the 75th anniversary of the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima (August 6th) and Nagasaki (August 9th) in Japan 1945. We ask you to pray for the prohibition of all nuclear weapons and to pray for peace in the world.
Human Love in the Divine Plan (Theology of the Body) - First intake in Wellington! Courses for Young Adults (ages 18-35 years) on September 5 & 6, and for Adults on September 19 & 20. Venue: Challenge 2000, 1 Wanaka St, Johnsonville, Wellington. Early Registration: $40.00 (closes: 29 August). General Registration: $50.00. Contact 0220289737 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For information, visit: www.marriageandfamily.org.nz
The storm exposes our vulnerability and uncovers those false and superfluous certainties around which we have constructed our daily schedules, our projects, our habits and priorities. It shows us how we have allowed to become dull and feeble the very things that nourish, sustain and strengthen our lives and our communities… We deprive ourselves of the antibodies we need to confront adversity. Pope Francis: Extraordinary Moment of Prayer and Urbi et Orbi blessing, 27 March 2020
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