Tuesday – 18th Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel – Matthew 14:22-36
Frozen in Fear
Fishing Boat from time of Jesus
I have taken a cruise only once in my life and, frankly, once was enough. It was years ago and I was a teacher/chaperone for a group of high school seniors. Overall, the cruise was…….EH! One night a huge storm hit us and I experienced the real meaning of ‘rock and roll’. The ship was literally swaying side to side and navigating the hallways meant lurching from one handrail to the other. It did not help matters that all the handrails on the ship were filled with little plastic bags, ready for any personal ‘emergency’ use. It was horrible and you couldn’t do a thing about it except hang on for dear life.
The Apostles are also experiencing a storm, this time on the Sea of Galilee. You would think that, as fishermen, they would be used to severe weather but not this time. And in the midst of their terror, Jesus comes to them walking on the water. You know the rest – Peter walks on water but loses faith. Jesus and Peter get back into the boat and the storm subsides. Jesus then chides the disciples for their lack of faith.
Let’s face it! None of us are Jesus, not even close! And the vast majority of us are not as foolhardy and impetuous like Peter. Frankly, we are those other disciples in the boat, hanging on for dear life and frozen in fear, unable to move or react! Truthfully when tragedy or a sudden storm in life, we are paralyzed, unable to think or move! And in the midst of waves crashing onto our boat and it is ready to capsize and we are faced with sinking to the bottom of the sea, Jesus reminds us today – we are not alone! God is with us in the storm! Keep the faith! Reach out your hand and trust that God will bring us safely through the storm!
No matter what crisis confronts us today, no matter what storms push us to the brink of despair, Jesus reminds us today: “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”