A reading from the Book of Amos AM 3:1-8; 4:11-12 Hear this word, O children of Israel, that the Lord pronounces over you, over the whole family...

A reading from the Book of Amos
AM 3:1-8; 4:11-12

Hear this word, O children of Israel, that the Lord pronounces over you,
over the whole family that I brought up from the land of Egypt:

You alone have I favored,
more than all the families of the earth;
Therefore I will punish you
for all your crimes.Do two walk together
unless they have agreed?
Does a lion roar in the forest
when it has no prey?
Does a young lion cry out from its den
unless it has seized something?
Is a bird brought to earth by a snare
when there is no lure for it?
Does a snare spring up from the ground
without catching anything?
If the trumpet sounds in a city,
will the people not be frightened?
If evil befalls a city,
has not the Lord caused it?
Indeed, the Lord God does nothing
without revealing his plan
to his servants, the prophets.The lion roars–
who will not be afraid!
The Lord God speaks–
who will not prophesy!

I brought upon you such upheaval
as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah:
you were like a brand plucked from the fire;
Yet you returned not to me,
says the Lord.

So now I will deal with you in my own way, O Israel!
and since I will deal thus with you,
prepare to meet your God, O Israel.

From the Gospel according to Matthew
MT 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?”

Even before we begin to seek Him, He is present beside us lifting us back up after our falls, He helps us grow in faith. Maybe in the dark, we cry out: “Lord, Lord!” thinking He is far away. And He says, “I am here.” Ah, He was with me! That is the Lord. The boat at the mercy of the storm is the image of the Church, which in every age encounters headwinds, very harsh trials at times: we recall certain long and ferocious persecutions of the last century and even today in certain places. In situations like that, she may be tempted to think that God has abandoned her. But in reality it is precisely in those moments that the witness of faith, the witness of love, the witness of hope shines the most. It is the presence of the Risen Christ in His Church that gives the grace of witness unto martyrdom, from which buds new Christians and fruit of reconciliation and peace for the entire world. May the intercession of Mary help us to persevere in faith and fraternal love when the darkness and storms of life place our trust in God in crisis. (Angelus, 9 August 2020)

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