Sunday, 10 August 2008

My Thoughts on Today's Bible Readings

It is the nature of us humans to be shocked and awed by loud noises, bright lights, rumblings of the very ground we stand on, strong winds whipping us about, etc. So when we face such situations we can't help feeling that God sent these things to tell us something. But is it necessarily so?

It is often said that the mass should cater more to current trends in order to attract today's youths. And since today's youth are attracted by loud noises, bright lights, etc. (as in the way concerts are presented) then the mass should be equally flashy. But looking at the reading from the 1# book of Kings where the Lord is not present in the moving wind or the noisy earthquake or the rousing fire but in the whispering breeze, one can conclude that such things actually distract us from being in the presence of God. Think about it. The mass is for us to encounter Jesus, to be at the foot of His cross, to receive Him prayerfully. But if the mass is full of loud music and flashing lights, wouldn't that distract us from the above? Wouldn't we start focusing on the loud music and flashing lights instead of what the presiding priest is saying and doing? But the Lord is not in the loud music or flashing lights, but in the words and actions of the priest! So let us pray that we be not distracted by worldly things from being in the presence of the Lord.

Looking at the Gospel reading, we can see the disciples affected by the shock and awe of the boat they were in taking a beating from the waves because the wind was against it. In fact the situation was so shocking and awe-ing that it drove Jesus totally from their minds- so much so that they couldn't recognize Him when He came to them. Luckily for them (and for us too!) Jesus totally understood their fear. So instead of lambasting them, He reassured them that it was He.

So it should be so with us. Though we should not forget Jesus when we experience the shock and awe of anger, depression, fear, happiness, etc., we can be certain that God is still reaching out to us even though we forget about Him. All we need to do is reach out (Peter's prayer of “Lord, save me!” can constitute this) and we will be once again in His presence.

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