Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them, walking on the sea...” (Matthew 14:25.)

Saint Hilary of Poitiers offers the following insight on this verse from today’s Gospel proclamation:

“In the meantime, however, the disciples are harassed by wind and by sea. Amid all the disturbances of the world, in conflict with the unclean spirit, they are tossed about. But the Lord comes in the fourth watch. For the fourth time, then, he will return to a roving and shipwrecked church. In the fourth watch of the night, the measure of his concern is found to be just as great. The first watch was that of the law, the second of the prophets, the third of the Lord’s coming in the flesh and the fourth of his return in splendor. But he will find the church in distress and beleaguered by the spirit of the antichrist and by disturbances throughout the world. He will come to those who are restless and deeply troubled. And since, as we may expect from the antichrist, they will be exposed to temptations of every kind, even at the Lord’s coming they will be terrified by the false appearances of things and crawling phantasms with eyes. But the good Lord will then speak out and dispel their fear, saying, “It is I.” He will dispel the fear of impending shipwreck through their faith in his coming.” (On Matthew)

Almighty ever-living God,
whom, taught by the Holy Spirit,
we dare to call our Father,
bring, we pray, to perfection in our hearts
the spirit of adoption
as your sons and daughters,
that we may merit
to enter into the inheritance
which you have promised.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen