Daily Reflection – Aug 13, 2017
Sunday 13 August 2017
First Reading:1 Kings 19:9A, 11-13A
Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.
Psalm 85:9, 10, 11-12, 13-14
Second Reading:Romans 9:1-5
Gospel Reading: Matthew 14:22-33
Today’s Note: Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
After he had fed the people, Jesus made the disciples get into a boat
and precede him to the other side,
while he dismissed the crowds.
After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.
When it was evening he was there alone.
Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore,
was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night,
he came toward them walking on the sea.
When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified.
“It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear.
At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Peter said to him in reply,
“Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
He said, “Come.”
Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.
But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened;
and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught Peter,
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.”
O you of little faith. (Matthew 14:31)
Have you ever seen a toddler take a few wobbly steps and then tumble to the ground? You would probably be shocked if you saw his mother or father angrily rebuke him for falling. That’s not what parents do. They bend down with a smile to lift the child up, embrace him, and encourage him to try again.
That’s a great way to understand Jesus’ words to his disciples in today’s Gospel. He loves them. He loves Peter’s bold attempt to walk toward him on the waves. He knows that Peter is taking an important step toward a confident mature faith. He also knows that Peter’s flop into the water won’t be the end of the story. Far from being a failure or a disaster, it will become a milestone on his journey of discipleship. Yes, Peter had “little faith,” but he did have faith!
Jesus looks at us with love when he sees our attempts to follow him. He applauds our successes, and he reaches out to help us when we fail. He is quick to come to our aid if we take a misstep or start to doubt. He knows that each step reflects our growth toward maturity.
Try something new today, just as Peter did. You probably won’t want to step out onto your nearest body of water, but there are plenty of other things you can do. Just choose one. Think about something that might have arisen in your thoughts recently. Perhaps you would like to help the less fortunate; try it. You could set up one time to volunteer to serve meals to the homeless. You don’t need to have the perfect words to say to the people you’ll meet. Just take that first step. Jesus will be with you, ready to lift you up if you stumble.
You may be surprised to find that trying something new strengthens your “little faith” and brings you closer to Jesus.
“Thank you, Jesus, that you look at me with love. Make me bold to try to follow you in a new way today. I believe that you will be with me.”