After he fed the people, Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side, 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 to 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.”
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.” ——Matthew 14: 22-33
In times of distress, we call on God. In times of miseries, we beg God for mercy. In times of sufferings and fear, we beseech God for salvation. The gospel account described what happened in the sea of Galilee. The disciples saw Jesus walking on the water while they were in a boat far from the shore, they were terrified as they thought that it was a ghost. When we are afraid of something that we are not familiar with, we tremble in fear and distress. Jesus instead assured them: “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid.”
Then, Jesus invited Peter to come and approach him. Peter got off the boat and started walking on the water. But there was a strong wind that bothered him and he began to sink. Frightened, Peter cried out to Jesus: “Lord, save me.”
Jesus stretched out his hand and took him, saying: “O you, man of little faith. Why did you doubt?”
Most of the time, we claim that we fully trust the Lord and yet we also doubt if God would really be there for us every time. Doubt is the opposite of faith. When we do not submit fully to God our heart and thought, we will always be doubtful. We doubt because we have not really accepted that there is a God who is mightier than us. We have doubt because we do not accept our limitations, frailties, and inefficiencies. We have doubt because we want to be in control of everything, we cannot just let go and let God rule our life. Trust is basic when one would like to have courage; trust in the Lord effects trusting one’s self and trusting others.
When we follow the Lord, we have to give our full trust to him. Today’s gospel assures us that we should never be afraid of the “big waves or strong winds” that come our way. Our faith will always be tried and tested by the different circumstances and situations in our lives—be it personal, familial. or communitiarian.
Let us spend some time of silence and solitude like Jesus who went to a mountain to pray. Let us pray, let us converse with God.
Today, Jesus asks us to have courage and challenges us to give our full trust to God, trusting God totally without doubt and uncertainty. Peter was afraid and yet Jesus had saved him.
Jesus saves and gives life. With our faith in God, come strength, light, hope, wisdom, and the like. With faith, we see the truth and we can follow the truth—God who is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. When we walk on the waters of life, let us focus on Jesus for he invites us to follow him and not to be frightened for he assured us of our salvation, for he is our God and our salvation.
Let us pray, reflect and ask ourselves:
Do I take time to find my sacred space and pray like the Lord Jesus who always finds time and space to be alone and pray?
Am I calm before the Lord? Or restless and fearful before Him?
Have I really trusted the Lord fully at all times? Do I trust Him totally?
Do I recognize the Lord in the many events my life?
Do I see God in my encounters with others (friends and stragers)?
Do I accept Jesus as my savior and God, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit?
Prayer: Almighty and Ever- living God, may we always recognize you in the signs of our times and see you always in our brothers and sisters in strong faith. Give us courage to face the challenges and grip the difficulties of life and save us from harm, danger, and from all our adversaries. Keep us in your loving arms and protect us from the evil ones. This we ask through Christ or Lord who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Intention: Let us pray for those whom we had promised for, may the Lord listen to their prayers and grant their intentions. We also pray for those who waver their faith and lose hope faith in God; those who are confused, burdened, discouraged and anxious in their lives. May the Lord touch their hearts and once again approach the Lord in full trust and faith. May they have the courage to forgive themselves and forgive others so that they may only put their trust in the one and true God who is our true salvation and hope.