NINETEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
(Green) Cycle A/ Year II (August 10, 2014)
1 Kgs 1:9a, 11-13a/ Rom 9:1-5/
It was early in the morning when Jesus Christ saw His disciples on a boat being tossed up by the strong waves of the lake. Jesus came to their rescue walking on the waters.
His disciples already saw Him performing miracles but when they saw Him walking on the sea, they could still not believe it. They thought they were seeing a ghost. So Jesus had to confirm His presence with these words: “Courage! It’s me! Don’t be afraid” (Mt 14:27b). To this Simon Peter replied: “Lord, if it is you, tell me to come to you across the water” (Mt:28b). Then Jesus invited Peter to go to Him and so Peter got out of the boat and began walking on the water.
Jesus’ walking on the sea was a miraculous one but not an impossible act because as God He had the capacity to do it. Peter’s walking on the sea was a surprising one because as a normal human being, he did not have the natural capacity to do it. He was able to walk on the waters because Jesus told him to do so and because of his faith in Jesus.
In such act of walking on the waters, we can see the faith of Peter which was not strong enough but was indeed a genuine one. It was genuine as it made him walk on the sea; it was not strong as he began to sink when he noticed the strong wind. As Christians, Jesus is calling us to walk on the sea.
The sea symbolizes the difficulties, problems and trials in life. As long as we live here on earth, we can never avoid those tribulations which are difficult but never impossible to confront. To confront them we need to walk with faith and this is what is meant by walking on the waters.
Jesus calls us to walk with faith. Just like Peter, usually, when we begin to walk with faith and confront life’s difficulties, we are determined to do so and our faith is as strong as the faith of Peter when he got out of the boat. But then after sometime, when we continue with our battles through life, we notice how difficult life is, and most especially the Christian life. Just like Peter, we begin to sink.
When we feel the burden of our responsibilities, when we are worried and confused about many things, when we think we are stuck in a situation and unable to move on, when we sense we are helpless and hopeless; then we despair and sink. The reason behind this is that like Peter, we have lost our sight of Jesus.
Instead of focusing on Jesus, we focus our attention on the many problems that we have. The winds were strong and the waves were rough, yet the Lord was calmly walking on the sea. He is God and all those things can never affect Him. Yet we are merely human persons that can certainly be affected and be sunk by them.
But if we focus on Jesus and ask His mercy and help, then we will be able to go through the difficult situations of life with calmness. With God, we too can walk on the waters without fear and trembling but with tranquility and peace for with God nothing is impossible. Peter then represents each of us Christians who walk on this journey of Christian faith through life.
We have to remember that we are being called by Jesus to walk on the sea by faith but with our eyes, hearts and minds fixed on the Lord. Every day of our lives, this is our goal and constant struggle: focus on the Lord. It is hard to do but when we do our best to observe it, it is certainly rewarding.