Reflection for the 19th Sunday of Year

If fear is the last word in our love, we will communicate only fear to those we cherish. Such fear is a futile strain, as if we could walk, by our puny skills, on water. But fear faced, and released in faith, allows us to love the beloved more freely, and the giver of the gift, more authentically. (John Kavanaugh, SJ)


My dear Friends


How many times have we heard those amazing words, ‘Love means letting go of fear’?! Last Sunday, if you remember, we reflected on those awesome words, NOTHING, can come between us and the LOVE OF GOD made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord. God loves us into change, growth and transformation.


Fear, as many of us have experienced, is a crippling and paralysing emotion. It gnaws at the very core of our being!  It insidiously scatters the seeds of self-doubt, worthlessness, and fear of failure. We can go through life, endlessly comparing our looks, intelligence, popularity and successes with others. Every other person’s success and giftedness can represent a threat. Like air hissing out of a punctured tyre on a car, fear can haemorrhage our confidence, and throw us off course in becoming the awesome creations God created us to be!


In today’s gospel, Peter, filled with titanium faith in God’s love, ‘made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord’, leapt into the raging waters to walk towards Jesus. The howling winds and mountainous waves challenged this titanium faith and confidence. His fears increased as he became aware of the threatening forces around him. He was gripped by doubt, and the seeming stupidity of his actions…until his feet broke through the waters’ surfaces… and he began to sink!


I think we have all had that experience, haven’t we! We set out on a visionary quest with great determination, enthusiasm, confidence, love, hope and joy…then the howling winds of disparate voices; challenging and threatening circumstances, and ever-pressuring, evolving scenarios break the waters and we feel that we are about to be engulfed… and sink. Just when we feel things cannot get any worse…they do!


At this moment, my thoughts and heart are with the people in Beirut, who have been striving to live, realise their dreams and hopes amid civil conflict, economic collapse, COVID19, and now, the recent explosion which has devastated multitudes of lives, families, communities, and reduced much of the city to rubble. Like Peter, and the rest of us, this is the time when our cri du cuore is indeed, Lord, save me!


In our own personal trials, tribulations and fears, as well as in the catastrophic events we are witnessing around the globe, that Loving God will restore our haemorrhaged strength, our punctured courage, and our battle-worn confidence. He will break the shackles of fear, embrace us with healing, and lift us out of what can seem to be a living nightmare. Fear not…He is with us…and will calm those turbulent waters.


Remember me as loving you,


Fr. Antony

The parish is part of the Diocese of Portsmouth. Portsmouth Roman Catholic Diocesan Trust registered charity 246871.
http://www.portsmouthdiocese.org.uk/

© 2019• Immaculate Conception Church, Portswood, Southampton

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