Homily for the 19th Sunday in the Ordinary Time of the Year A.
Theme: The dangers of Fear and Doubt.
By: Fr. Justin Nzekwe
Homily for Sunday August 9 2020
Faith is like a leap in the dark. It is an absence of fear. A total confidence without doubt in the power of God capable of manifesting in our lives. Doubt is the greatest friend of Fear, while fear is the greatest enemy of faith. Both fear and doubts are great obstacle in our lives as Christians. Fear and faith cannot exist the same time in our hearts, it is either we are afraid, or we have faith. Fear is that pessimistic voice that whispers doubts in our hearts after prayers especially in our difficult moments. It reminds us that we are sinners and that is why God will not answer our prayers. It tells us that miracle is not possible. It even questions the existence of God. Fear has a way of convincing us, by reminding us of some of our past prayers that seem like God didn’t answer. It can sometimes speak through people we can trust like the doctors, scientist and other experts to make us believe that our particular situation is hopeless. Therefore, having faith as Christians is our ability to conquer our inner fear in order in reassure ourselves that God is capable of doing all things, and there is nothing impossible for God to do.
The gospel reading of today gives us a clear understanding of what fear can do in the lives of Christians. We can imagine how dangerous it could be to ride on a local boat at night in the midst of heavy wind and storm. It was in such a desperate situation that the disciples saw for the first time in their lives, someone walking on the sea without getting drowned. They quickly concluded it was a ghost. They forgot that their master Jesus is capable of doing all things, just because they have so much fear in their hearts. This is exactly the way we conclude sometime in our difficulties times that our current situation is hopeless, while forgetting that Jesus can do all things. Their fears were so great that Jesus had to speak up: “Take heart, it is I; have no fear.” It is exactly the same word I say to anyone here today struggling with one problem or another, “have no fear, because Jesus is in our midst as we celebrate this holy mass today!” When Peter requested to also walk on the sea to prove that it is actually Jesus that is coming towards them, Jesus simply ask him to “come”. This word of Jesus could also mean, “Peter come out of your fear!” Peter started walking on the sea, but when he saw the wind, he became afraid and began to sink and cried out, “Lord save me”. Jesus stretched out his hand and saved him but warned him of the danger of doubt.
Are you among the Christians with weak faith, who doubts the power of God? Are you battling with different types of fears in your life? The Lord is asking you today to throw away your fears and doubts and have faith. And as you hear the word of God today, may he give you the courage to conquer your fears, and may he prove his powers in your life that you will testify the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Amen.