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Jesus walks on the water

Gospel Reading: Mt 14:22-33
After he had 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 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.”

He passes by
Elijah, in the First Reading, wants to flee from danger. He had the prophets of Jezebel killed, and now his life is in danger from retaliation. His refuge is the cave of Mt. Horeb. And because he is doing everything for YHWH, he expects God to come for a rescue. He awaits God in the spectacular events because he is a faithful servant of God; he had the prophets of Baal killed for God! But God is not in the external signs of what may be seen as Power: great winds, earthquake, and fire. God, however, comes in “a tiny whispering sound” (v 12).

Yes, there are moments in our lives when the force that suddenly makes us face the seemingly insurmountable problems or difficulties that beset our daily grind is a tiny whispering prayer in our heart, a desire, a resolve bespeaking an intimate, acknowledged presence of God. And our attitude must only be: openness and availability.

The Gospel narrates that even Jesus, who led his disciples to feed the people, feels the need to pray. Preachers, teachers, recollection and retreat facilitators know this very much. Without prayer and introspection, one’s ministry is in shambles. But while Jesus is away, the disciples who are in a boat are tossed by a storm. Yes, even the ones who claim to be near the Lord do experience storms and difficulties!

Yet, they are so caught up by the winds that they mistake the approaching Jesus for a ghost. Only when the Lord assures them, the way YHWH assures Moses on Mount Sinai, “I AM,” that they are brought to their senses: “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid” (v 27). Sometimes our eyes are cast on the problems and not on the presence of Jesus whose light will make us see solutions. We must not fear.

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