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The Lord GOD said to me: As for you, son of man, obey me when I speak to you: be not rebellious like this house of rebellion, but open your mouth and eat what I shall give you. It was then I saw a hand stretched out to me, in which was a written scroll which he unrolled before me. It was covered with writing front and back, and written on it was: Lamentation and wailing and woe! He said to me: Son of man, eat what is before you; eat this scroll, then go, speak to the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth and he gave me the scroll to eat. Son of man, he then said to me, feed your belly and fill your stomach with this scroll I am giving you. I ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. He said: Son of man, go now to the house of Israel, and speak my words to them.
In the way of your decrees I rejoice, as much as in all riches. Yes, your decrees are my delight; they are my counselors. The law of your mouth is to me more precious than thousands of gold and silver pieces. How sweet to my palate are your promises, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Your decrees are my inheritance forever; the joy of my heart they are. I gasp with open mouth, in my yearning for your commands.
The disciples approached Jesus and said, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, "Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me. See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father. What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray? And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray. In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.”
Adam, after his sin, experiences shame, he feels naked, he senses the weight of what he has done; and yet God does not abandon him: if that moment of sin marks the beginning of his exile from God, there is already a promise of return, a possibility of return. God immediately asks: "Adam, where are you?" (Gn 3:9) He seeks him out. Jesus took on our nakedness, he took upon himself the shame of Adam, the nakedness of his sin, in order to wash away our sin: by his wounds we have been healed(Is 53:5; 1 P 2:24). Remember what Saint Paul says: "What shall I boast of, if not my weakness, my poverty?” (cf 2 Co 11:30 f.)Precisely in feeling my sinfulness, in looking at my sins, I can see and encounter God’s mercy, his love, and go to him to receive forgiveness. In my own life, I have so often seen God’s merciful countenance, his patience; I have also seen so many people find the courage to enter the wounds of Jesus by saying to him: Lord, I am here, accept my poverty, hide my sin in your wounds, wash it away with your blood (Rv 1:5). And I have always seen that God did just this – he accepted them, consoled them, cleansed them, loved them. Dear brothers and sisters, let us be enveloped by the mercy of God; let us trust in his patience, which always gives us more time. Let us find the courage to return to his house, to dwell in his loving wounds, allowing ourselves to be loved by him and to encounter his mercy in the sacraments. We will feel his wonderful tenderness, we will feel his embrace, and we too will become more capable of mercy, patience, forgiveness and love.
At the mountain of God, Horeb, Elijah came to a cave, where he took shelter. But the word of the LORD came to him, "Go outside and stand on the mountain before the LORD; the LORD will be passing by." A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the LORD--but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake--but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was fire--but the LORD was not in the fire. After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went and stood at the entrance of the cave. A voice said to him, "Elijah, why are you here?"
I will hear what God proclaims; the LORD–for he proclaims peace. To his people, and to his faithful ones, and to those who put in him their hope. the LORD –for he proclaims peace to his people. Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him, glory dwelling in our land. Kindness and truth shall meet; justice and peace shall kiss. Kindness and truth shall meet; Justice and peace shall kiss. Truth shall spring out of the earth, and justice shall look down from heaven. The LORD himself will give his benefits; our land shall yield its increase. The LORD himself will give his benefits; Our land shall yield its increase. Justice shall walk before him, and salvation, along the way of his steps.
Brothers and Sisters: I speak the truth in Christ, I do not lie; my conscience joins with the holy Spirit in bearing me witness that I have great sorrow and constant anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and separated from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kin according to the flesh. They are Israelites; theirs the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; theirs the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, is the Messiah. God who is over all be blessed forever. Amen.
After he had fed the people, Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side of the sea, while he dismissed the crowds. After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone. Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. "It is a ghost," they said, and they cried out in fear. At once (Jesus) spoke to them, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid." Peter said to him in reply, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." He said, "Come." Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how (strong) the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" After they got into the boat, the wind died down. Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying, "Truly, you are the Son of God."
Once again the disciples are a plaything of the waves and a storm, similar to the first one (Mt 8:4), hurls itself against them. The first time, however, they had Jesus with them, whereas this time they are alone and left to themselves. (...) I think this was because our Savior wanted to stir their sleeping hearts and, by throwing them into a panic, he inspired in them a strong desire for his presence and kept the remembrance of him constantly in their mind. Hence he did not come to their help at once but “during the fourth watch of the night he came towards them, walking on the sea”. (...) Peter, ever ebullient, always getting in before the other disciples, said: “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water” (...) He didn't say, “Command me to walk on the water” but “come to you”, for there was none who loved Jesus so much as he. He did the same thing after the resurrection: unable to bear moving as slowly as the others in the boat, he jumped into the water to get there before them and satisfy his love for Christ. (...) Getting out of the boat, then, Peter went towards Jesus, more delighted to be going towards him than to be walking on the water. But after confronting the greatest danger, that of the sea, he was to give in to a lesser, that of the wind. Such is human nature! Often, having overcome serious dangers we are conquered by lesser ones (...) Peter had not yet been set free from all his fear (...) in spite of Christ's presence beside him. For it is of no use to be beside Christ if one is not close to him by faith. This is what emphasizes the distance separating master from the disciple (...) “O man of little faith, why did you doubt?” So if Peter's faith had not faltered he would have resisted the wind without difficulty. And the proof of this is that Jesus grasped Peter while leaving the wind to continue blowing (...) Just as the mother bird supports with her wings, as it is about to fall, the fledgling that has prematurely left the nest and draws it back into the nest, so does Christ with regard to Peter.