Stay focused in faith
Reflections on the readings for the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (August 9, 2020): 1 KGS 19:9,11-13; PS 85:9,10,11-12,13-14; ROM 9:1-5; MT 14:22-33
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days
Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, 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."
Last Sunday’s Gospel started with Jesus wanting a little “quiet time” for Himself. But, because the crowds followed Him, He put their needs first. Today we hear that He finally got to go alone to a mountain to pray. Meanwhile the Apostles took a boat out on the sea and, in the course of the night, a strong storm came up. Jesus walked out on the water to meet them. When they saw Him they were terrified until He calmed them. Then Peter asked for something extraordinary. He, too, wanted to walk on water and asks Jesus to command it. And He does. But Peter, being the contradictory person he was, allowed his faith in Jesus’ power to falter. The wind and waves scared him and he doubted – and Peter started to go under. “Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught Peter, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’ After that 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’” (Matthew 14:31-33).
Peter believed that Christ would hold him up and keep him safe – until he let feelings of panic to get the better of him. But Jesus rescued him. And His admonishment is a good reminder for us as well. Faith is vital to the way we live every day. We need to stay focused on our Savior who will always be there to take our hand, if only we ask. The Son of God will never let us drown in fear or any other emotion or any temptation. He pulled St. Peter out of the turbulent sea just as He pulled all of us out of the dark tomb. Jesus treasures each person enough to suffer and die for us, and He asks only that we respond with love and with faith.
Suggested missionary action: Let us pray, asking our Savior to help us believe in Him more truly, more deeply each day. Let us often pray, “Jesus, I trust in You!”