St. Wilfrid's Roman Catholic Church

Toronto, Canada

St. Wilfrid, Our Patron
Follow Us on Facebook
Sunday, August 18, 2019 - 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time


for Sunday, January 11, 2015

Water! Each of the readings today refers to water and to its effects in our lives. We all know that we cannot live without water for very long. The image today is saying that without the water of divine wisdom and the water of divine compassion, we will perish. For us, that water is Jesus Christ, who refreshes our soul.

The Prophet Isaiah has led us all through Advent and through Christmas and now we come to the beginning of Ordinary Time, and the Prophet Isaiah is still teaching us. He tells us: All who are thirsty, come to the water! Water here is the symbol of all that we need to live. God will give it to us. Water is the symbol of life. God will give it to us. Water is the symbol of abundance. God will give it to us. Isaiah has a total confidence in this God who has revealed Himself to Him. Isaiah wants us to have that confidence as well.

Why should we have confidence? Because, Isaiah tells us, the word of God will accomplish all that it sets out to do. This takes a huge amount of faith on our part. Yet if we listen to the whole tradition of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, this is always the promise of God to us, His people.

The second reading, from the First Letter of Saint John, speaks to this very point: Who indeed is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is the real test for one who believe: to believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Somehow God leads us to this belief. At times we believe because faith has been handed down to us. Yet we must come to believe because we ourselves have encountered the living God. This also is a challenge throughout the ages. There are multitudes who believe because their belief is inherited. God wants to challenge us to believe because we have encountered Him.

The Gospel from Mark today, of course, is about the baptism of the Lord. It is a very short account and is clear: something happened at the baptism and the other followers of John the Baptist recognized it, but people only understood it as the life of Jesus unfolded and particularly after His Resurrection. And a voice came from the heavens, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased."

We are invited on this Sunday to deepen our faith, to be able to recognize that the voice from heaven is the voice of God Himself, speaking to Jesus His Son. In Jesus is our salvation. We are invited to believe. Water can remind us each day that we also are invited to be baptized in Him, our Savior.

Readings of the day:
First Reading: Isaiah 42.1-4, 6-7
Second Reading: Acts 10.34-38
Gospel: Mark 1.7-11

Homily from Abbot Philip, OSB, of the Benedictine Abbey of Christ in the Desert.


Reflections are available for the following Sundays:


St. Wilfrid's Parish, Toronto