Monday, August 8, 2011

8/8/11 - Are You Ready To Walk On Water?

Matthew: 14:22-53

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.”


This was Sunday's gospel, and here at St. Patrick's in Gretna, NE, we had the pleasure of hosting Archbishop George Lucas for the dedication of our new parish center.

I've gotten to where I really enjoy a trip by the bishop. It gives me an opportunity to remember, and to teach my children, that this is the continuation of an ancient tradition. The bishops are today's successor's to the apostles, and just like those first bishops, these men are the shepherds of the church. It is their job to shepherd the flock in their dioceses, and to teach them the faith. That has been the case since the Pentecost.

Archbishop Lucas gave a great homily on Sunday. He talked about how this event is so legendary and so far removed in time that it seems distant -- a gift that was meant for other people, for their purposes. And yet, if anything, Christ is MORE present to us here in the 21st Century than He was for the Apostles. He has sent the Holy Spirit. They are inside of us and with us all the time. He is there with us through all sorts of trials, and His help is there for the asking. And he comes to us so intimately and humbly in the Eucharist -- taking all of the hurt and pain and sin we give Him, and exchanging it for His own divinity.

We all have storms that we struggle through, little ones and big. How often do you go to Christ in those times? Are you willing to completely to rely on Him? Are you willing to step out of the boat and give Him control? Are you willing to commit to that?

"O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"

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