A reading of the holy Gospel according to Matthew 14:22-36

Jesus made the disciples get into a boat and precede him to the other side of the sea, while he dismissed the crowds. After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone. Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. 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. “It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear. At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter said to him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” After they got into the boat, the wind died down. Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying, “Truly, you are the Son of God.” After making the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret. When the men of that place recognized him, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought to him all those who were sick and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak, and as many as touched it were healed.

REFLECTION: “Lord, save me!”

After putting her granchildren to bed, a grandmother changed into old slacks and a droopy blouse and proceeded to wash her hair. As she heard the chilren getting more and more rambunctious, her patience grew thin. Finally, she threw a towel around her head and stormed into their room, putting them back to bed with stern warnings. As she left the room, she heard the three year old say with a trembling voice, "Who was THAT?"

Out in the stormy sea, the apostles were fearful for their lives. And then when Jesus came to their rescue they did not recognize Him. Do we fail to see Jesus in the guise of the homeless, the sinner, the abandoned, the babe in the womb? Do we fail to see His image in their eyes? Do we fail to see Jesus in the storms of our lives?

Are we afraid of day to day living--afraid of the work that we need to do to get a project done, afraid of that stress? Are we afraid of not succeeding, of being rejected? Many of us struggle with either obeying God or obeying our own fear. Are we afraid to obey God or give our will to His? Are we hesitant to speak to others about PAPA and its spirituality? Are we true missionaries who want to spread the Good News and make disciples? Are we afraid to volunteer or donate time or money because fear of commitment brings us down? Do we feel overpowered by the uncertainty of illness?

Peter's sinking was not because he distrusted Jesus, but because he focused more on the water, the waves, the darkness, and not on Jesus. Jesus has the power to overcome all our fears and if He so chooses not to remove our problems from our lives. He has the power to calm the waves of our uncertainties, to walk hand in hand with us and even to carry us when we are unable to finish the race.

May we let God act in us without resisting Him and allow Him to give us His sanctifying grace.

God Bless You

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