Francis of Assisi
556 South Jersey Street;
Denver, CO 80224
National Catholic Church (PNCC)
St. Francis of Assisi Polish National Catholic Church (PNCC) @2008
As faithful Christians, we come to Church on Sundays and on occasion we may even read our Bible. Given that we do come to church and read the Bible, why do we do it? Surely not just to pass our time away. So, why do we? It's my guess we’re seeking to improve our relationship with God. To get closer to Him and to know Him better. I suppose, for the most part, that's what happens – at least while we're here in church or while we're reading our Bibles. But, when we leave Church, or put down our Bible and we re-enter our busy "WORLDLY" lives. And as soon as we do, we’re promptly distracted from GOD. We get so caught up in what we’re doing, in what's happening to us, and trying to solve our daily problems we forget GOD is there at all. Isn't that what we all tend to do when our way gets difficult? We lose patience and give up on what we asked GOD to do for us. We kind of lose faith, don't we? Not unlike Peter in today’s Gospel when he said, "Lord if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." And Jesus told him, "Come."
Peter left the boat and as he was walking on the water toward Jesus, a strong wind came up and typical of Peter, he became frightened, and when he became frightened his faith faltered and when his faith faltered, he began to sink. As he was sinking, he cried out, "Lord, save me" and Jesus reached out and saved him. What Jesus did for Peter, He’ll do for you. Jesus will save you as well – when you cry out to him to save you, he responds, "Come." Jesus came on earth and died to free us from the bonds and the trials and the tribulations of this world, to free us to be with GOD again. There’s no task too hard for Him, no burden too heavy for Him. We’re His children and He loves us with a love that’s greater than any love we can ever imagine. There’s nothing He’ll not do for us. All He asks is that we believe in Him,
trust in Him and love Him.
Of course our faith is solid and we trust in GOD. Right? Whenever we're in trouble, what do we do? We call on GOD.
"Lord, I'm in really big trouble here and I really need your help bad." (As if He didn't already know that.) Then we proceed to tell Him how much trouble we're in and exactly what He needs to do to fix it – in minute detail. Oh yes, this process applies to small problems as well as the large ones. Once we’ve laid everything out for God, what do we do next? We just sit back and wait for GOD to take care of everything. Right? Wrong! If there’re no lightning flashes, thunder clashes, earth shaking and our troubles immediately resolved exactly as we’ve so distinctly outlined, we snatch them back and go about mucking up things some more.
WE DON'T WAIT FOR GOD! WE DON'T LISTEN FOR GOD!
What we really need to do is STOP! When our world is coming apart around us, and even when it's not. We need to STOP and LISTEN! Remember what we were taught as children about approaching a railroad crossing? STOP, LOOK AND LISTEN. And why should we do that? Because we’re approaching possible danger. The same is true in life. When we’re approaching danger in our lives we need to stop, look and listen for God. Stop look and listen very carefully. If you want to hear GOD, you must be quiet and listen for Him in the quiet. In the first reading today we heard that the Word of the Lord came to Elijah saying: "Go outside and stand on the mountain before the Lord; the Lord will be passing by." A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the Lord –
but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake – but the Lord was not in the earthquake.
After the earthquake there was fire – but the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound.
When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went and stood at the entrance of the cave.
Elijah knew the Lord comes in silence. So we too must know and be prepared always, for GOD will come quietly – as scripture tells us - like a thief in the night. The God we honor is one of compassion and love; He works with the gentleness of a breeze and manifests Himself in quiet calm. Faith in Christ that’s real and deep means trusting GOD
- trusting Him all the way in all things! Giving up all human resources and putting one's life and future entirely in God's hands. You know, there’re times in all of our lives when misfortune, sickness, family tragedy seem to engulf us and totally overcome us. There’re times when our Christian faith is deeply tried and we feel like giving up in despair. It’s then we must listen for Jesus, Jesus who loves us so that He died for us.
Listen for Jesus in the quiet of your heart. You will hear him speaking to you, telling you: "Why are you faltering? I am with you always. Do not be afraid." We must take Jesus’ words with us to our busy "WORLDLY" lives. We must be ever mindful that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are with us always / to help us / and to guide us. We need do nothing more than to ask, step back and listen. If we listen closely we’ll hear soft quite voice say:
"TAKE COURAGE, IT IS I; DO NOT BE AFRAID."
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August: 9th - 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time - A 2017