Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 3, 2017 – Year A
Readings: Jer 20:7-9 / Ps 63 / Rom 12:1-2 / Mt 16:21-27
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
Last Monday, as flood waters were rising in northeast Houston, three brothers and two of their friends set off in a small boat to rescue anyone they could find. In their two trips, they brought two families to safety, but on their third rescue trip, they didn’t make it. Two of them, Yahir Vizueth and Jorge Perez, died in the process of helping save lives.
This is just one of the many heroic stories in Texas in the past few days. A good number of volunteers went there, risking their own lives so others might live.
In today’s second reading, which is taken from the letter of Paul to the Romans, the apostle said, “I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.” These rescuers in Texas put into practice St. Paul’s admonition.
In spite of all the sad news about hatred and violence in many parts of the world, it is inspiring to know that there are still a good number of people who would rather love than hate, would rather help than destroy others. These good Samaritans in Texas remind us of the good news that people are basically good. Every time I turn on the television set to watch news (which I very seldom do), I hear about groups of volunteers from all over trying to help the victims of this calamity.
In some instances, they even offer their own lives for others. Such was the case of Collette Sulcer, who died in the flood while trying to keep her three-year-old daughter afloat. Her daughter, Jordyn Grace, was eventually rescued, while clinging to her mother’s lifeless body as it floated in the floodwaters from tropical storm Harvey in Beaumont, Texas, last Tuesday.
Jordyn Grace, as she was recovering in Beaumont Hospital, told her relatives that her mama was saying her prayers while they were floating in the water. I am pretty sure that her mama, as any mother would do, also told her to cling to her no matter what happened, and everything would be just fine and they would be saved.
It is beyond doubt that our lives in this world are flooded with all sorts of trials, problems, difficulties, and tribulations. But if we continue to cling to our faith in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and follow His teachings and commandments, we will not sink nor perish. We will remain afloat, and the Lord Jesus will lead us safely home.