19th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Sunday August 13, 2023
Mass Readings for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
- First Reading – 1 Kings 19:9A, 11-13A: “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.”
- Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 85: “Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.”
- Second Reading – Romans 9:1-5: “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.”
- Gospel – Matthew 14:22-33: “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.”
Themes for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
The readings for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A show us that God is Lord over all of the earth. In the first reading God tells us that he will provide for all of our needs and give us life. The psalm proclaims that God rules the world with kindness and justice The second reading explains that Christ is over all. And in the gospel Jesus walks on water to the disciples, whose boat is being tossed in a storm.
- Recognizing God
- Seeing Jesus as Lord of all
- The storms in our lives
See the Homilies and Reflections section and the More Thoughts section for further expansion on these readings and some reflection questions for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A.
Resources for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Prayer to the God of Peace and Justice
This is a prayer based on Psalm 85, which is the responsorial psalm for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A. God desires peace and justice for all of His beloved children. When we know God’s mercy and hear his voice, we are called to do His will. We are called to work for His Kingdom.
Do Not Be Afraid – Reflection and Discussion Questions
This is a guided meditation on fear and trust in God. Its scripture focus is Matthew 14:22-33, when Jesus walks on water during the storm. This activity focuses on how we can be driven by fear, but with trust in God we can walk in faith. Some reflection questions are included for after the meditation.
Fearful Finds Relay
In this game, players put their hands in a box of unknown substance to find coins. It is a test of if they can overcome their fear of what they might be touching. Be prepared for some funny reactions! There are also some reflection questions at the end.
Ship Wreck Action Game
Ship Wreck is a running and action game. The game requires a combination of speed, teamwork, and listening skills. So this is one of those games that is not necessarily won by the most athletic team. Some teamwork strategy can really even the odds.
Bail the Ship
Bail the Ship is a fun large group game. It pits two groups against each other and burns off a lot of energy. I have seen it played at Vacation Bible School and at camp. It’s always a lot of fun!
Cork Ship in a Bottle Craft
This is a simple ship in a bottle craft, not the type that takes days and days. It is easy to make. The kids can take it home and use it as a centerpiece for any nautical themed Vacation Bible School or youth group meeting
Homilies and Reflections for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Hearing God’s Voice
In this week’s Encountering the Word video for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A, Jeff Cavins tells us how we can discern God’s voice during prayer:
It’s easy to think of courage as something we only need when facing our greatest fears, but in this video Fr. Mike explains how courage is necessary to live out every virtue.
Peter Walked on Water Too!
In this homily, Fr. Richard Rohr points out that Jesus was not the only one to walk on water. Peter did it too! And so can we. Jesus is asking us to cross the lake to a new level of faith on the other side.
From Scott Hahn. “How do we find God in the storms and struggles of our lives, in the trials we encounter in trying to do His will?”
The Silent Presence of God
From Bishop Robert Barron. “Elijah is a contemplative who has the eyes to see and the ears to listen. God does not appear in the glory of the world. Rather, he appears in a silent way. Weed out of your heart all of those fears and desires that prevent you from discerning the silent presence of God.”
Christ, the Son of God
Also from Bishop Barron. “Over the centuries–and in the present day–many have tried to portray Jesus as no more than an inspired teacher. But the disciples who witnessed Christ walking on the water know better. They confess ‘truly, you are the Son of God.’”
More Thoughts for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
In today’s gospel, Jesus uses the opportunity in the storm to strengthen the faith of his disciples. He is away praying on a mountain when the storm starts tossing them on the sea. He comes to their rescue, although they fail to recognize him at first.
He responds to their inability to see him with the statement, “Take courage. It is I.” This is an echo of the name of God, “I am”. But they still need proof. Peter asks him to walk on the water.
Even upon seeing this miraculous act, Peter’s faith falters in the face of his fear. Jesus asks them why they doubt. But in the end, they recognize the divine presence and state, “Truly, you are the Son of God.”
Reflection Questions for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
- Have there been times when I have failed to recognize God’s presence during the storms of my life?
- How does fear impact my faith life?
- What can I do to develop more trust in the Lord?
Quotes and Social Media Graphics for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”Matthew 14:27
Having faith means keeping your heart turned to God, to His love, to His Fatherly tenderness, amid the storm. Jesus wanted to teach this to Peter and the disciples, and also to us today.Pope Francis
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