Tuesday, June 28 ~ Thirteenth Week in the Season of Ordinary Time
Saint Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr
Holy Gospel: Matthew 8:23-27 As Jesus got into a boat, his disciples followed him. Suddenly a violent storm came up on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by waves; but he was asleep. They came and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” He said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?” Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was great calm. The men were amazed and said, “What sort of man is this, whom even the winds and the sea obey?”
Meditation: What is stronger than fear, even the fear of death? Scripture gives an answer: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). The Wisdom of Solomon tells us that “love is stronger than death” (Song of Songs 8:6). Jesus’ sleeping presence on the storm-tossed sea reveals the sleeping faith of his disciples. They feared for their lives even though their Lord and Master was with them in the boat. They were asleep to Christ while he was present to them in their hour of need.
Prayer: O God, who called the Bishop Saint Irenaeus to confirm true doctrine and the peace of the Church, grant, we pray, through his intercession, that, being renewed in faith and charity, we may always be intent on fostering unity and concord. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Contemplation: Wherever the Good News of Jesus was preached, it met the same opposition as Jesus did, and many of those who began to follow him shared his suffering and death. But no human force could stop the power of the Spirit unleashed upon the world. The blood of martyrs has always been, and will always be, the seed of Christians. Jesus is always present to us in our hour of need – especially in times of challenge, fear, and anxiety. Jesus was there for the first martyrs of Rome in their persecution in living out the teachings of Christ, just as he is present to us as we bring the teachings of Christ into our world – into our homes, our places of work, our schools, in our neighborhoods. The truth of Christ always prevails and flourishes, while dictators, fads, people and activist groups with their own personal agenda and other secular things wither like a dead tree limb. Never be afraid to promote the truth of Christ, and to live it to the fullest, no matter what opposition you may experience in life. Remember this simple prayer: “Jesus my Lord, my God, my all, you are the only foundation that can hold us up when trials and disaster threaten us. Give me the wisdom, foresight, and strength of character I need to do what is right and good and to reject whatever is false and contrary to your will. May I always meet the challenges and trials of life head on, knowing you are at my side. May I be a doer of your word and not a hearer only.”