Memorial of Saint John Vianney, Priest
Put yourself in the scene of today’s gospel. Waves are pounding a little wooden fishing boat as a storm rages all around you when suddenly, through the blowing wind and water spray, you see someone or something walking on the water towards you. Quite disconcerting, wouldn’t you say? Of course, the disciples think they are seeing a ghost until Jesus quells their fears. Remarkably, Peter responds to this wondrous sight by boldly declaring, “Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you on the water.” Now that is a sign of great faith for me. Jesus invites Peter out to join him by merely saying, “Come.” Without hesitation, Peter gets out of the boat and walks on the water.
Peter actually walks on the water.
Nobody talks about that shining few seconds of miraculous faith. No, commentators focus on Peter’s lack of faith. Would you have gotten out of that boat while the sea rolled beneath your feet? Could you have walked on water like Peter did, even if it was only for a few moments?
Of course when Peter takes his eyes off his Savior and actually looks at the wind, the reality of his situation hits him, and he begins to sink. Yet Peter does not get any sympathy or even any praise for having actually walked on water, albeit it only for a few steps. Nope. Jesus is quite harsh, “O man of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Why is Jesus so stern with poor Peter? It is because this story will illustrate, for future Christians, our basic walk with God. We are called to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, our sole Savior and Redeemer. We can’t do anything on our own strength. No matter what our circumstances are, when our eyes are fixed on our Lord, anything and everything is possible. This is the normal Christian life. It is not for a select few. Jesus expects us to walk on water with him daily.
I believe; Lord heal my disbelief.
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Melanie Jean Juneau