1 Kgs 19:9a,11-13a; Matt 14:22-33
19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
The gospel reading of today begins and ends in tranquility.
It is towards evening and Jesus sets some time for himself to be alone in order to pray—a lesson for all of us to consider: communing with God after all the activities of the day.
It is in the absence of Jesus that the boat of the disciples is tossed about by rough waves, an ordeal that the men endure for the whole night. The coming of Jesus towards the break of dawn terrifies them but they are quickly reassured that it was he.
Once again, as in other episodes from the gospel of Matthew, Peter comes as a prominent figure, asking Jesus to command him to walk on water. Peter indeed walks on water but the fear of the strong wind makes him sink. Jesus gently chides him for his lack of faith. The presence of Jesus makes everything tranquil.
The words of Jesus in today’s Gospel come strong: “Take courage, it is I! Do not be afraid.” As in our daily lives where we find that the presence of our mother or father, or that of a friend, takes away our fears, the presence of the Lord quells the fear of the disciples. At the suggestion of Peter, Jesus responds “Come.” The Lord invites us to come to him, to share in little marvels that he does. But if we fail, we find him gently chiding us, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
The response of those who were in the boat did him homage, saying, “Truly, you are the Son of God.” It is in peace that they proclaimed this profession of faith, in the same way that Elijah found God present in the gentle whispering sound, in the same way that Jesus found intimacy in the stillness of the evening.
- Where do I find God present in my daily life?
- Do I look for moments of stillness and peace in which I can commune more intimately with God?
Peter asked the Lord to tell him to come across the water so that he might reach him. Ask the Lord to help you to come across whatever separates us from him. Pray for the gift of faith.
Fr. Joel N. Camaya, SDB
Don Bosco Center of Studies