Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: Lectionary # 408. Jeremiah 30:1-2.12-15.18-22. Psalm
102:16-18.19-21.29.22-23. Matthew 14:22-36:
Despite the sorrows, complaints, doubts, and tragedies that Jeremiah shares
with us, he does offer hope to Israel and to us. We need not read between
the lines to discover this. It is in his prophecies and writings. As a good
and authentic prophet we always await that message of faith, hope and love.
We will not be disappointed as we read the whole of his magnificent
prophetic scroll. Today after the sections on punishment and then promise,
we have the great support of the last line as God speaks directly to
Jeremiah: “You shall be my people, and I will be your God.” Yes, this is
the Word of the Lord that we await.
We are now aware that Matthew is helping us to follow Jesus on his
journeys. We see him heading to the other side of the lake of Galilee
where he leaves his apostles in the boat and climbs a mountain to be alone
in union with his Heavenly Father. It is a simple statement from Matthew
but it moves us to think about prayer and the need for silence in the
presence of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”After doing so (leaving the
disciples in the boat) he went up on the mountain by himself to
pray.” (Matthew 14:22c). Down below on the sea, the disciples are
overwhelmed by a pounding rain and a storm tossed lake. They are afraid.
Yet, what is this, someone is coming toward them and they fear all the
more, perhaps, it is the Angel of Death or a ghost. They do not recognize
Jesus and their fear continues rocking the boat with the waves outside and
their hearts pounding within them. Jesus calms their fears and shouts to
them, ‘Get hold of yourselves! It is I. Do not be afraid.”
Peter rises to the occasion, jumps in the waters and heads toward Jesus,
but then he looks back and up and is again trembling as he sinks into the
lake. Jesus reaches out to him and rescues him. And we, like Peter, are
strengthened by the words of Jesus, but our faith wanes and we start
sinking into the storms of the soul–doubt, fear, lack of trust, lost of
controlling things. We are sinking into depressive misery. But like Peter
we come to our inner self and stir up trust in Jesus who again and again
saves us from ourselves.
Jesus continues his ministry in the evening and has healed those who touch
him, those who listen to him and those who wait for him to touch them. No
matter what storms or struggles or illness, Jesus is there for us. We need
to cry out with Peter, “Lord, save me.” Jesus always does and keeps telling
us each day, “It is I, be not afraid.” Amen.