Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Prayers for the Philippines

As I write this, I'm playing hide-and-seek with our Internet connection.  A thunderstorm is raging outside, and there is massive flooding in the Philippines.

Continuous rains have caused landslides and floods the past two weeks.  Since yesterday, many have been stranded on rooftops waiting for rescue boats, while some were lucky enough to check in hotels as it was impossible to go home.  Classes and work have been suspended. Rescue and relief operations are ongoing.

But the rain. won't. let. up.

I woke up at 4 a.m. to the sound of torrential rain and knew that I needed to pray.  But instead of opening my daily reading guide, Bible, and reflection guide, I just whispered a silent prayer and proceeded to monitor the events on social media.

I spent the whole day retweeting information about the emergency, but I forgot one thing: my regular prayer time.  I fell asleep in the afternoon and dreamed that I was at mass, praying for my country.

So I woke up, fixed a snack for my parents, and went to mass.

I realized then that had I simply opened my Bible to the daily reading this morning, I would have worried less.  The Gospel was so apt, and so comforting, to a people who have strong faith amidst this storm:

GospelMatthew 14:22-36

22 And at once he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he sent the crowds away.
23 After sending the crowds away he went up into the hills by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,
24 while the boat, by now some furlongs from land, was hard pressed by rough waves, for there was a head-wind.
25 In the fourth watch of the night he came towards them, walking on the sea,
26 and when the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. 'It is a ghost,' they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But at once Jesus called out to them, saying, 'Courage! It's me! Don't be afraid.'
28 It was Peter who answered. 'Lord,' he said, 'if it is you, tell me to come to you across the water.'
29 Jesus said, 'Come.' Then Peter got out of the boat and started walking towards Jesus across the water,
30 but then noticing the wind, he took fright and began to sink. 'Lord,' he cried, 'save me!'
31 Jesus put out his hand at once and held him. 'You have so little faith,' he said, 'why did you doubt?'
32 And as they got into the boat the wind dropped.
33 The men in the boat bowed down before him and said, 'Truly, you are the Son of God.'
34 Having made the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret.
35 When the local people recognised him they spread the news through the whole neighbourhood and took all that were sick to him,
36 begging him just to let them touch the fringe of his cloak. And all those who touched it were saved.
Please continue to pray for the Philippines, that those in need may get help, and those who can give do so with all their heart.

Thank you.

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