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Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reflecting on Matthew 14: 22-33

 I think Peter must have loved Jesus with all his heart and soul and mind and strength.  It was that love that compelled him and his brother Andrew to leave their nets behind when Jesus called them to begin his Assembly of Twelve years earlier.

And it was surely that love that pushed Peter out of the wind-tossed boat in the fourth watch of the night.  The Romans divided the night into three-hour “watches”, four per night.  It was now somewhere between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m., and they were exhausted, terrified, and struggling mightily.

Even though the seasoned fishermen had set out in early evening, they still hadn’t crossed the Lake, which is five miles wide, because of the great gales. It was then that Emanuel―God with us―set out to be with them in the storm.  It was he who had commanded them to get in the boat and return to the other side of the Lake.  It was he who stayed behind in a deserted place to pray while they went off to meet the wind and the rain.  And it was he who was now coming to comfort them.

This was no still, quiet voice they heard, speaking to their hearts during a quiet retreat.  This was the screaming roar of an epic storm at sea.  It was in the storm that Jesus drew near to them.  And it was in the storm that Peter said, Lord, if that’s really you, just call me and I’ll come.

The next time you are terrified―perhaps of losing someone you love, or of a scary diagnosis―think of Jesus coming toward you in the midnight storm, calling your name.  Take heart.  It is really he.

In what storms of your life has Emanuel been “with you”?

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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).

Kathy McGovern © 2014-2015

Ordinary Time - Cycle A

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