Thought for the Day

9th Sunday after Trinity:   Sunday 9th August 2020

I Kings 19: 9 – 18; Matthew 14: 22 – 33 


Drawing by Bruce Males,
based on Reredos of St Lawrence at St Mary’s Church, Caterham

Matthew 14: 22 – 33

Immediately Jesus 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.’

Wrapped around the great Feast of the Transfiguration (which was on Thursday last), come two saints days – of men who were possibly insignificant in their time, but who are very important and to whom I have a personal devotion.

Last Tuesday we remembered St Jean Vianney, patron saint of parish priests.  Jean found theological study very difficult, but was ordained in France in the early 19th century because he was said to be the ‘most devout, if also the most unlearned student’ in the seminary. He was humble, extremely devout and much revered by all he met, spending huge amounts of time with his parishioners.

And tomorrow, 10th August, the church remembers St Lawrence, a deacon in the church. I explored vocation whilst working in a hospital dedicated in his name and a church dedicated to him was in my first parish. Today’s illustration is based on the reredos in the parish church there showing a tradition from his life story: in a time of great persecution in Rome he was commanded to give the treasures of the church to the state. He did so, accompanied by people to whom he had ministered – those   who were poor and disabled and marginalised. ‘These’, he said, ‘are the treasure of the church’.  He was martyred on a gridiron.

As we read of the Transfiguration of the Lord (Luke 9: 28 – 36) and hear once again the words revealing who it is the Jesus is and his glory is truly revealed,  we hear of two men, filled with humility, who live out their lives called to his service.

Following their examples, may we pray especially today for all in great need, and not least for the peoples of Beirut.   

And pray that  we too might live our lives in the ways of Lawrence and Jean Vianney.

We pray together….

Gracious Father,

revive your church in our day

and make her holy, strong and faithful

for your glory’s sake

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen

Our Father,
who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever.
Amen.
 

Go in the peace of Christ
Thanks be to God