November 18, 2016 (Friday)

Dedication of Basilicas of Sts. Peter and Paul, apostles

Friday of the 33rd Week

Acts 28:11-16, 30-31 • Ps 98

Mt 14:22-33

[or Rv 10:8-11 • Ps 119

Lk 19:45-48]



22After the crowd had eaten their fill, Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone. 24Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. 25During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them, walking on the sea. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. “It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear. 27At once [Jesus] spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” 28Peter said to him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29He said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. 30But when he saw how [strong] the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32After they got into the boat, the wind died down. 33Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying, “Truly, you are the Son of God.”



Fear can paralyze us from doing anything. Fear comes about when we are not sure of what we are facing. We are afraid of what threatens us.

Jesus assures the disciples caught in a storm that it is he whom they see. He is not a ghost walking on the water, and he is not coming to them to make things worse. Jesus is there to be with them. He has just finished his prayer and is now catching up with them. Peter wants to verify, but Jesus requires him to get out into the water and walk. Peter sinks and is so afraid because of his little faith. Jesus reaches out to save him. When Jesus gets into the boat, everything becomes calm, not only the waters but also the disciples.

The image of the disciples on the boat is seen as the life of the Church that experiences many difficulties. It is battered in and out. The Church can be surrounded by a hostile environment that preys on the weaknesses of its members and leaders. But the Church can also be jam-packed with fearful people who are easily distracted. We may join many church activities without feeling Christ’s presence. We should have a strong faith in order to see Jesus clearly journeying with us, especially in times of difficulty. He is always telling us, “Do not be afraid. Come forward.”

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