The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Wednesday, Dedication of the Basilicas of Sts. Peter and Paul, 18 November 2020 Acts of the Apostles 28:11-16, 30-31 >><)))*> + <*(((><< Matthew 14:22-33
Today, O Lord, we celebrate anew the Dedication of your two other Major Basilicas in Rome, St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s. Last week, we celebrated the dedication of the Cathedral of Rome, the St. John Lateran and in August, the St. Mary Major.
All these major basilicas remind us of the spiritual nature of the Church signified by these beautiful buildings of stones as community of believers following you, dear Jesus.
Since the beginning, we have always been sailing in rough, stormy seas as you have seen your apostles that night in their boat “being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it” (Mt. 14:24).
As I prayed today on that scene with the recent fierce winds of typhoon Ulysses still so vivid to me, I felt like Peter – so fearful with winds like in the gospel today when you bid him come to you by walking on water too. “But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened” and began to sink in water, crying out to you, “Lord, save me!”(Mt. 14:30).
When the strong winds and heavy rains by typhoon Ulysses ravaged our region last week, it was also nighttime, so dark, so cold, and we felt so fearful like Peter. Some people took shelter in our church and hopefully have given them some sense of security in you, Lord.
As I reflected on the many things that have frightened me from the winds, I have realized some beautiful things too about you that reassure me of your perfect love that casts out all fears.
Two things I have found so fearful with the winds, Lord.
First was the howling sound of the winds.
It was scary especially when you are very silent, Lord, because I felt so alone.
No wonder the Apostles thought you were a ghost when they saw you walking on water!
Inside and outside the Church today are so many voices like harsh winds that add to our many confusions that isolate us from you and from one another, making us so afraid that sometimes lead us to doubt your presence and love.
Please give us the courage to grow deeper in your silence, befriending it more when you are most silent so we may heighten our sensitivity of your presence and overcome our fears.
Second thing so frightening with the winds, O Lord, is its relentless force that refuses to stop that it seems to pummel everything on its path.
Sometimes in life, forces around us can be felt so strongly that frighten us but without really hitting us at all!
Yes, it is so scary but unfounded! Sometimes, it is more in our minds than in the winds actually because we are afraid of being bruised and hurt, of being knocked down especially when we do not know where the blows are coming from.
Remind us, Lord, how often our fears are imaginary.
Teach us not to resist the strong winds, to be calm, to hold on, and if ever we are swept away, to await you for you are definitely coming even if you have to walk on water to save us! Amen.