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The walking on the water

Gospel Reading: Mt 14:22-36
Jesus made the disciples get into the 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 of 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 36and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak, and as many as touched it were healed.

Take Courage
Jesus speaks this to his disciples who cry out in fear, thinking that they are seeing a ghost. Their ride has been frightening because of the waves and the wind battering their boat. Then they see something strange in the dark. For the Jews, the dangers at sea are caused not only by bad weather but also by demonic powers.

To allay their fears, Jesus calls out to make his voice heard and identify himself, “It is I.” He, their master, is trying to catch up with them after having stayed behind for prayer after a day of preaching.

The Greek word for “take courage” is tharseo. It also means “cheer up.” The disciples should be happy, for he is with them now. They are not alone in their struggle against the forces of nature.

To double check, Peter asks to go to Jesus on the water. Jesus says yes, and Peter steps out of the boat. For a while, he walks on water toward Jesus. When he sees how strong the wind is, however, Peter gets scared and begins to sink. He cries for help to Jesus who stretches out his hand to catch his. Jesus rebukes Peter for his little faith and courage.

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2016,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.