by Fr Ted Toppses
9th Sunday of Matthew 2013
In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…
Let us review this morning’s Gospel reading from St. Matthew 14:22-34
At that time, Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up into the hills by himself to pray.
Finding a quiet place to be alone with God is something we all would benefit greatly from. The peacefulness and effectiveness of prayer at times by privately being with God and no one else was demonstrated by our Lord and Savior many times. We must find a place of our own, not for every once in a great while, but for regular time together to be prayerfully intimate with God. This quiet place does not replace the Church that Christ established but tremendously enhances the experience by seeking Christ in the church at home and the Church here that is the living Body of Christ.
The Gospel continues…
When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was many furlongs distant from the land, beaten by the waves; for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out for fear. But immediately he spoke to them, saying "Take heart, it is I; have no fear."
The presence of Christ does not invoke fear but calm. Christ gives peace not agitation. Christ gives eternal life, not death.
The Gospel continues…
And Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you on the water." He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus; but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me."
Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, "O man of little faith, why did you doubt?"
Peter wanted to come to Jesus and when the storms of the world distracted his faith and he took his eyes off Christ he began to sink. When we take our eyes or our focus off of Christ we too will begin to sink into the depths of this worldly life. We too must reach out when this happens and call upon the Lord for help. The Lord immediately reached out to keep Peter from drowning. Christ is the only one who can help us to truly rise above the waters in this life that would drown us. We must remain focused on Christ in order to stay above the waves and must reach out to Him when we fall, Christ is there for us.
The Gospel Continues….
And when they entered the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God." And when they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret.
The world is like the sea deep and wide full of storms and winds and dangers. If we go into the sea without even a boat it would be hard not to drown in the ups and downs of this earthly life. The Boat could be looked at like the Church which keeps us afloat and together safe in this dangerous world. Jesus who comes into the boat of our life calms the sea and the waves and instead of drowning in this world we are saved for eternal life.
Our focus must be on Christ at all times by prayer and a conscious effort to live constantly with Christ. Our faith in Him will help us rise above the cares and troubles of this world and live forever with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.