Immediately after the miracle of the loaves and fishes, Jesus sends the disciples to the other side of the lake in a boat while he dismisses the crowds and, then, ascends the mountain alone to pray. Just as Jesus watches over the disciples and comes to their aid so, too, does Our Lord continuously rescue His Church. Her permits us to wrestle with fears so to be strengthened in our faith by means of the very struggles themselves.
GOD’S TIRELESS RESCUE OPERATION
19th Sunday in Ordinary Time [A]
In today’s Gospel a storm unleashes its fury and threatens the apostles who are in a boat and separated from Jesus when the squall strikes (Matthew 14:22-33). A short while earlier Jesus had told them to set out for the opposite shore without Him. The disciples followed the instruction while Jesus lagged behind first to send the crowds on their way (v. 22) and, then, to ascend the mountain in order to pray in solitude (v. 23).
During the fourth watch of the night Jesus approaches the boat. The disciples thought He was a ghost. Jesus draws even closer and exclaims, “Take courage. It is I. Do not be afraid.”
Our blessed Lord Jesus never fails His friends.
How typical Peter’s response is! Initially Peter is prepared to take a risk in responding to Jesus’ word. If it is Jesus He will only have to call Peter across the water and Peter will make his way to Jesus (v. 28). At first, Peter places his trust in the Lord, but then falters in the face of the raging elements around him. Fear seizes Peter and suddenly he is sinking and he cries out to Jesus, Lord save me! Without delay Jesus extends His hand to Peter and lifts him to safety.
When we find ourselves afraid and falling look to Jesus and cry out to Him: “Lord, save me!”
How often we begin a great task courageously and resolutely. This only happens through faith. Winds whip and waves crash that threaten our courage and resolution. Sometimes we stop looking at Jesus and instead pay more attention to the things that separate us from God. The right response to difficulties is crystal clear: remain dependent upon the gracious help of our blessed Lord. Without Jesus everything is lost.
God sometimes requires us to endure difficult situations. Remaining faithful to Christ Jesus we always will find our way safely and victoriously. On our part, we must rely on Him.
Even with little faith Jesus comes and saves.