“The Lord has spoken who can but prophesy?”
A reading from the Book of Amos (Amos 3:1-8, 4:11-12)
Hear this word that the Lord has spoken against you, O sons of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up out of the land of Egypt: “You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities. “Do two walk together, unless they have made an appointment? Does a lion roar in the forest, when he has no prey? Does a young lion cry out from his den, if he has taken nothing? Does a bird fall in a snare on the earth, when there is no trap for it? Does a snare spring up from the ground when it has taken nothing? Is a trumpet blown in a city, and the people are not afraid? Does evil befall a city, unless the Lord has done it? Surely the Lord God does nothing, without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets. The lion has roared; who will not fear? The Lord God has spoken; who can but prophesy? “I overthrew some of you, as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and you were as a brand plucked out of the burning; yet you did not return to me,” says the Lord. “Therefore thus I will do to you, O Israel; because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel!”
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 5:5-6,7,8 (R. 9)
R/. Lead me, Lord, in your justice.
You are no God who delights in evil;
No sinner is your guest.
The boastful shall not stand their ground
Before your eyes. R.
All who do evil you despise;
All who lie you destroy.
The deceitful and those who shed blood,
The Lord detests. R.
Yet through the greatness of your merciful love,
I enter your house.
I bow down before your holy temple,
In awe of you. R.
ALLELUIA Psalm 130:5
Alleluia. I wait for the Lord, in his word I hope. Alleluia.
“He rose and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 8:23-27)
At that time: when Jesus got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O men of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”
The Gospel of the Lord.
“It is I, do not be afraid” are the reassuring words of Jesus in the midst of fear and confusion. Though we may be entertaining doubts in our minds with regard to the presence of God and let our faith sleep, God will never sleep and abandon us to be destroyed. The prophet Isaiah reassures us thus: “See, the LORD’s hand is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear” (59:1). Those who are frightened amidst the storms and struggles of life are people of little faith who do not know the power of God working in them. The lesser the faith, the greater the fear. And so Jesus wants us to be people of greater faith that steadies the ship of our life knowing fully well that at the helm of our life is Jesus who loves and cares for us.