Tag Archives: disciples

Walking on Water with Jesus

“Walking on Water with Jesus”
Matthew 14:22-33 “in a snailshell”
Tuesday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time
©️2021 by Gloria M. Chang

Then he made the disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone. Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. “It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear. At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter said to him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” After they got into the boat, the wind died down. Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying, “Truly, you are the Son of God.”

Matthew 14:22-33

Neither Gold Nor Silver

“Neither Gold Nor Silver”
A reflection on Matthew 10:7-10
Thursday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
©️2021 by Gloria M. Chang

As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give. Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts; no sack for the journey, or a second tunic, or sandals, or walking stick.

Matthew 10:7-10

Variations of this passage exist in the Synoptic Gospels. The New American Bible Revised Edition footnote to Mark 6:8-9 explains: “In Mark the use of a walking stick (Mk 6:8) and sandals (Mk 6:9) is permitted, but not in Mt 10:10 nor in Lk 10:4… These differences indicate a certain adaptation to conditions in and outside of Palestine and suggest in Mark’s account a later activity in the church. For the rest, Jesus required of his apostles a total dependence on God for food and shelter; cf. Mk 6:35-44; 8:1-9.”

Go Rather to the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel

“Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel”
A reflection on Matthew 10:1-7
Wednesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
©️2021 by Gloria M. Chang

Then he summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness. The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus; Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.

Jesus sent out these twelve after instructing them thus, “Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town. Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’

Matthew 10:1-7

Calling Disciples

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James Tissot, Calling Disciples

Mark’s account of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee is succinct. John has been arrested and Herod, who rules in Galilee, is ready to behead him. Not a good time, in human thinking, to begin a ministry. Better wait, we say.

But this is God’s time, different from ours. The Good News is God’s message, not ours. God will act according to his plan, not ours. (Mark 1:14-20)

The call of the four fisherman, Peter, Andrew, James and John occurs by the Sea of Galilee. For the Jews the sea, like the wilderness, was a dangerous place; storms unsettled it; unpredictable winds made it fearful. Even an inland body of water twelve miles long and six miles wide was something to be wary of. They made a living on it, but still the sea was a dangerous place.

Jesus says simply, “Come after me and I will make you fishers of men.” Mark’s Gospel sees the four fishermen with a lot to learn to be fishers of men. They slowly understand his call. Later on, twelve would be called, (Mark 3,13-19), still later their ministry would be explained. (Mark 6,7-13)

They keep learning, not something you learn in a book, or by yourself. “I will make you fishers of men,” Jesus said. “Come away by yourselves and rest awhile,” he said to his disciples who returned to him with reports of all they had done. (Mark 6,30ff) Every disciple has to learn what the call means for him and for her, and a great deal of it we learn with others. And a great t deal of that learning comes from prayer

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Two by Two

“Two by two”
Mark 6:7-13 in a quatrain
Sunday of the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)
©️2021 by Gloria M. Chang

He summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick—no food, no sack, no money in their belts. They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic. He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave from there. Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them. ”So they went off and preached repentance. They drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

Mark 6:7-13

As Lambs Among Wolves

In the gospels read at Mass this week, from the 10th chapter of Matthew, Jesus sends the Twelve on a mission. They have a restricted mission: “Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness.” (Matthew 10, 1)

They have authority over unclean spirits and can cure every kind of disease, important gifts, but they haven’t received power to teach yet. That will come after Jesus’ resurrection.They’re also told not to go into pagan territory or Samaritan towns. but to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

They’re on a restricted mission.

The evangelists differ. In Luke’s gospel, read last Sunday, Jesus not only sends the twelve, but seventy two others. No restrictions are given them. Go to every town and place I intend to visit, Jesus says to them.

In both gospels, the disciples are told to have no walking stick, no traveling bag, no sandals.. They’re not promised economic security or assurance they’ll be received well and their mission will be successful.

Ministry will never be easy, under any circumstances. It will always be “as lambs among wolves.” Ministry changes as times and circumstances change, but whatever the time and circumstances, we’re sent.

What are we called to do today? Something must be done today, something we don’t see. “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” And Jesus repeatedly says, “Don’t be afraid to do it.”

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Unprepared

by Orlando Hernandez

This Wednesday’s Gospel is from the section of Luke’s Chapter 14 that tells about what will be demanded of a follower of Jesus. I wonder how many people remained in the “Great crowds” after hearing what Jesus expected of them!

“ and He turned and addressed them, ‘If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.’” (Lk 14:25-27)

Jesus goes on to tell them of the builder, and the king marching into battle who do not have what it takes to succeed. What does it take to make it as a disciple of Christ? How does a disciple of Christ keep his or her “taste” like good salt? (Lk 14: 34-35) The Lord says in todays Gospel: “everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.” (Lk 14: 33)

The Lord presents these challenges all over the Gospel of Luke. For example: in chapter 9: 57-62, The Conditions of Discipleship; in chapter 8: 11-15, The Parable of the Sower; in chapter 6: 20-26, the Sermon on the Plain; and in chapter 18: 18-30, the story of the rich official who wants to follow Him. After the rich official leaves disappointed, the disciples ask Jesus: “Then who can be saved?”

Over the last few weeks I have been talking with leaders of prayer groups, evangelization brotherhoods, Knights of Columbus, Passionist Associate Directors. At some point or another they would complain sadly about how the majority of the members are not coming to the meetings. Their excuses are similar to those cited by the Gospel: “I had to work late at the business.”, “My husband wants me home.”, “I have to take the kids to soccer.”, “I’m so tired, the boss is giving me a hard time.”, and so on….. The initial enthusiasm , the taste of salt, seems to be fading, the light on the lamp stand getting dimmer. I often find myself falling into this darkening. Please Lord, don’t let me go!

How exclusive, really, is this fellowship with the Lord? What are the requirements after all? To be invited to the Feast of the Lord it seems to help to be part of “the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.” (Lk 14:15-24) In the next chapter (Lk 15) we see that perhaps if you realize that you are lost in the night like that little sheep, then the Shepherd will come for you with great joy and love. Or, if you see your total poverty and foolishness, and feel true repentance, the Father will come running down the road to embrace you!

This is so much beyond my understanding. When I knew that I could not live without the Beautiful One who had revealed Himself to me, I jumped head long into His arms, without realizing what I was getting into. Was I like the unprepared builder, the understaffed king, the seed in rocky, or thorny ground? I imagine so. I have given up a lot for Him, but I fail Him so many times. I cling to so many pleasures and possessions: “What would I do without my retirement pension, or my health? I adore my grandchildren, my wife.”

Perhaps my mistake lies in that use of the word “my”. None of these things are really mine. As Christians, most of us eventually will understand that all these wonderful things are really not ours, but His, blessed be His most merciful heart! Actually, most of the people in our planet are lacking them. He tells everyone in today’s Gospel to “carry his own cross and come after me”. Come where? Where else but Calvary itself, where He lost everything, even His life. We are all headed there. Through aging, loss, or misfortune, sooner or later we will understand the total poverty of our situation. The only treasure we have is Him, not because we deserve this treasure, but because He loves us so much.

Orlando Hernandez

The Fear of Death

Great mysteries are expressed and deep truths revealed in these days between Easter and the Ascension, St. Leo the Great says in a sermon:

“In those days the fear of death was removed with all its terrors, and the immortality not only of the soul but also of the flesh was established.”

To remove the fear of death, keep your eyes on the two disciples on the way to Emmaus whom Jesus accompanied “to sweep away all the clouds of our uncertainty.”

“He reproached them for the slowness of their timid and trembling hearts. Their enlightened hearts catch the flame of faith, and lukewarm as they have been, they are made to burn while the Lord unfolds the Scriptures. In the breaking of bread also their eyes are opened as they eat with him. How much more blessed is that opening of their eyes, to the glorification of their nature, than the time when our first parents’ eyes were opened to the disastrous consequences of their transgression.”

Keep your eyes on all the disciples at this time, the saint says: “the most blessed Apostles and all the disciples, who had been both bewildered at his death on the cross and backward in believing his Resurrection, were so strengthened by the clearness of the truth that when the Lord entered the heights of heaven, not only were they affected with no sadness, but were even filled with great joy.”