Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Gospel in a Nutshell - Doing the impossible

Mt 14:22-33

After he had fed the people, Jesus made the disciples get into a 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 Peter,
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.”

Today's gospel is a familiar story and image. The disciples are in a boat during a storm when they see Jesus walking towards them on the water.  Thinking it is a ghost, they are frightened until they realize who it is.  Jesus tells Peter to walk towards him and Peter obeys.  It is only until Peter begins paying attention to the frightening storm and wind that he starts to sink and cries out to the Lord to help him.

I can imagine how the disciples felt in their boat in the midst of a storm - doing exactly what Jesus had asked them to do.  How often do we feel scared or insecure about what we feel Jesus is calling us to do?  I can also imagine how Peter must have felt - he obeyed Jesus by getting out of the boat and he almost sank!

But why did he almost drown? 

He took his eyes off of Jesus.  He focused on the world around him and the danger and uncertainty that it holds.   When he looked around at the world, he started believing that the storm would defeat him.  He lost faith.

There are many times where I find myself questioning my decisions because of the fears I have for the future.  What if I can't handle raising these children?  What if my children have a hard time with me homeschooling? Can I really trust my fertility to natural family planning?  The list goes on and on and on.  Today's gospel applies to all this.  Jesus calls us to step out, whether we keep our eyes on the world or on Him dictates whether we sink or swim.


  1. I struggle with similar fears. Trusting the Lord makes sense when I look back on all He has already done. :-)

  2. Jenn! I totally agree! This weeks gospel really spoke to me because I always second guess my decisions because of fear!!! What a great reminder for us before the school year!