St Hilda's Anglican Catholic Church Service Times

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Every Sunday 2017. Maitland NSW Australia. Venue: St Marys School Chapel in Victoria St. Mass at 11am.
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Fr Matthew Kirby for further details.
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Saturday, 4 May 2013

But when he saw the wind boisterous...

And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.   Matthew 14:28-33 (KJV)

When your life gets difficult it is easy to feel isolated and defeated, to get self-absorbed and forget that everybody’s life faces times of storm. We cannot simply choose to avoid these times but we can choose where we turn our focus.  Whether our personal storm manifests itself as depression, anxiety, fear, alcoholism, eviction, redundancy, domestic violence, diabetes, hypertension, chronic pain, cancer, heart disease, or some other form of human suffering, it is easy to get distracted from God.

Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees...  Deuteronomy 8:11

If we loose the focus on God we find it easily replaced with self-focus. When this happens, in our fear and distress, it is easy to think that we can control the situation by simply trying harder. No matter how hard we try it will never be quite enough because the effect of sin on God’s creatures is exhausting. We also need to keep our eyes on Jesus to draw direction and strength from Him.

But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Matthew 14:27(NIV)

Although we are all sinners we like to believe we try hard to please God. The age old question is 
"Why Me??, why is God punishing me?"

Why? Perhaps there are times when the teacher has to step back in order for the pupil to realise how much he/she has learned. Just like mortal parents the Lord your God disciplines you. Perhaps what you are going through is for the purpose of learning. What it teaches is for the individual to discover. Perhaps it is patience, compassion, honesty, self-discipline, forgiveness or something only you can discover. Perhaps it is teaching you to find the things in your life for which you need to be thankful and to have trust and reliance on God, to take the time to communicate with Him on a heart felt level. When we turn to Him, he does not reveal his plan, he reveals himself. He comes to us as warmth when we are cold, fellowship when we are alone, strength when we are weak, peace when we are troubled, and courage when we are afraid.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.  Galatians 5:22 (NIV)

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)

Life’s storms come to everyone. Hopefully we pass through them without laying false blame or nurturing bitterness or envy. Hopefully through our sufferings we can see ourselves honestly, allowing us to mature and grow. Hard times often remind us to appreciate those who love and support us.

For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.  Deuteronomy 10:17(NIV)

Remember at your darkest moment that even the “perfect” man had to endure the pain of mortal life, through which He gave us the perfect example.

"My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done."  Matthew 26:42 (NIV)

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The image chosen is a painting of  Newcastle Beach NSW Australia, just as an evening storm is approaching. A magical time to be at the beach, because as the storm approaches everybody leaves and the beach becomes quite isolated. Your senses become alive with the smell of the ocean, your hearing is dominated with the sounds of thunder and crashing waves and your body becomes wrapped in the icy winds and spray of misty water. For that brief moment you become one with the elements, experiencing a small piece of the power and glory of Gods creation.
Image is used with the permission of the artist (Di Mathews).

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