This week, on the occasion of the nineteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Jesus performs another famous miracle: he walks on water. And, wondrous as this miracle is, it comes with a lesson about faith as well.
Last week we heard Jesus instruct his disciples to feed the crowd instead of turning them away to buy their own food (Mt. 14:16). The disciples respond that there is not enough food for all, but Jesus performs his multiplication miracle. Clearly this is as much a lesson for them as it is a blessing for the crowd.
The narrative for this week takes place immediately after those events and culminates with the famous remark of Jesus to Peter, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt? (Mt. 14:31). Jesus is still trying to get a message across to his closest followers. But, even his principle disciple, Peter, who seems to have the right idea at first (being willing to jump headlong out of the boat) ends up loosing focus and trading faith for fear when matters become tough.
How similarly do we find ourselves struggling in faith when earthly matters call our attention and our ability to see God's supernatural goodness at work becomes overridden by our own rationalizations? Perhaps we can derive some hope, knowing that Peter fell into the same trap. Perhaps we can also strive to have greater faith, knowing more now about Jesus than Peter did at that time.
Finally, let us also take to heart what Jesus also said, "do not be afraid" (Mt. 14: 27). May we more easily recognize Christ at work in our lives and replace any fear or doubt with faith and hope in the goodness of our Lord.
We look forward to seeing you this weekend and expounding more fully upon these readings while also sharing in the Eucharistic banquet (even if only in spirit).
Sincerely in Christ,
The Clergy & Staff of Blessed Sacrament