AD SENSE

13th Week, Tuesday, Jun 30

Amos 3:1-6; 4:11-12 / Matthew 8:23-27 
I treated you as special: “But you did not return to me.”

There’s a colorful passage in Luke’s Gospel where Jesus compares the people of his time to petulant, ill-humored children playing games in the street. One group complains to the other group: “We played wedding music for you, but you wouldn’t dance! We sang funeral songs, but you wouldn’t cry!” Luke 7:32
That’s the way the people of Israel responded to the preaching of Amos. There was nothing Amos could do or say to get them to repent and change their ways. Nothing would move them. Finally, there was nothing to do but pass judgment on them.
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How responsive are we to God’s grace, constantly inviting us to draw closer to him? “How many times I wanted to put my arms
around all your people, just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would not let me!” Luke 13:34
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It is often said that life is so unpredictable. It is so true especially when calm turns to chaos. It may happen on the expressway when we are driving when suddenly another vehicle swerves into our path from nowhere. Or we may be doing our work happily when suddenly the fire alarm goes off and everyone starts to jump up from their seats and wonder if there is an emergency.

Certainly, life is unpredictable, and more so when calm turns to chaos. But it was when calm turns to chaos that the disciples began to have a deeper glimpse of who Jesus is. And when the prophet Amos warned the people of impending punishment and chaos, he also urged them: Israel, prepare to meet your God. Every situation of chaos, of tribulation, of danger is a time to meet our God and to have a deeper encounter with Him.

And when the Lord has calmed the turbulence within us, then we in turn can be His prophet of peace. Like Amos the prophet, when we come across a chaotic situation, we will also know that it is a time to meet our God who is our Saviour.
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Tuesday June 30
Tuesday of 13th Week of Ordinary Time
IN WIND AND STORM

Introduction
Amos questions the people of God and asks them to give an account of how they have answered God’s love. We have to recognize the Lord’s presence and to keep trusting in him, when storms rage within us and in our world as they threaten to engulf us and make us ask: “Lord, where are you?” These may be the storms of temptation, of doubts and fears regarding the faith, of threatened loyalty. The winds of change too, may be howling typhoons tossing the bark of the Church around, before we can enter the calm waters of a renewed Church. The Lord is there, we should not be afraid.

Penitential rite:
-You alone have I favored, more than all the families of the earth, says the Lord; yet we have been unfaithful, LHM
-You were like a burning stick plucked from the fire, says the Lord; Yet we have gone away from you, CHM
-When the storms of life terrify us, we come as people of little faith, LHM

Opening Prayer
Lord our God, you let your Son reassure us with a word of reprimand: “Why are you afraid, people of little faith?” Let that little faith grow in us and make us absolutely certain that you are with us in your creation, in the dark and in the night, in the wind and in the storm, even in the depths of death. For you are the God who said: “I am there for you,” now and for ever.

Gospel Reading Introduction
We have to recognize the Lord's presence and to keep trusting in him when storms rage within us and in our world as they threaten to engulf us and make us ask: "Lord, where are you?" These may be the storms of temptation, of doubts and fears regarding the faith, of threatened loyalty. The winds of change too may be howling typhoons tossing the bark of the Church around, before we can enter the calm waters of a renewed Church. The Lord is there, we should not be afraid.

Commentary
The image of the boat being tossed and turned by the winds and rain is very much an image of the Church. The Church is the refuge from the storm, without which we would perish. And even though the boat may be rocked by world events or even by scandal from within, we know that the Lord Jesus is within the boat, and that He will make sure that none be lost, for He desires that all be saved.  May we stay on board the ship of faith that is the Church. With the Lord as its captain, is there any doubt that we will reach the heavenly harbor?

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. The Lord is ever present to us. And in our time of testing he asks the same question: Why are you afraid? Have you no faith? Do you recognize the Lord’s presence with you, especially when you meet the storms of adversity, sorrow,  or temptation? Whenever we encounter trouble, the Lord is there with the same reassuring message: “It is I, do not be afraid”.

Homily Prayer
"Lord Jesus, may we always recognize your abiding presence with us. And in times of trouble or fear may we find courage and strength to respond as you would. Help us to rely upon you in all circumstances and to trust in your help both in adversity and in temptation".

Intercessions 
– For the Church of Jesus Christ, that its faith and love may not waver in the difficulties and storms of our time, we pray:
– For sailors and fishers, that the sea may be peaceful and generous to them; for all who travel, that they may safely reach their destination, we pray:
– For ourselves, that we should never be afraid, for we know that Jesus is with us. That we may remain serene and in peace, we pray: 

Prayer over the Gifts 
Lord our God, we have prepared this bread and wine to welcome your Son in our midst. May we also recognize his presence and keep relying on him in our human achievements. May no success, however great, cause us to forget that without him we can do nothing, that this world is your creation and that we can be fully human only in Jesus Christ, who lives with you and with us for ever. 

Prayer after Communion 
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom else should we entrust ourselves than to Jesus, our God-with-us? Let him sail with us to brave the waves, and to face the heart of the storm. When he is with us, even when apparently asleep, let us no longer be afraid of committing ourselves to your sea, for we are sure Jesus will lead us to your safe harbour of peace for ever. 

Blessing  
“Why are you afraid, people of little faith?” Let us entrust ourselves wholeheartedly to the Lord. With him, we can overcome all difficulties. May Almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.