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Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A

Reflecting on Matthew 14: 22-33

Here’s a thought. What if the real reason Peter jumped into the water and into the arms of Jesus was not that he was courageous enough to go, but because he was too terrified to stay? He must have gotten a lot of applause when he landed back in the boat, the storm calmed, Jesus finally with them after fending for themselves all night.

Whew! Peter, that was brave! I wish I had your faith! True, you faltered there for a second, but how courageous of you to leave the boat and head towards Jesus!

Now, Peter may have been squelching a guffaw at this point, and thinking to himself, Seriously? You thought that was brave? I was just trying to save my neck.

I know I’ve received a lot of credit in my life for “being brave” about things I’d change in a second if I could.  The things I actually might be able to do something about remain undone, because those would require actual courage.

But we have to give Peter this: when he had the choice to reach back for the safety of the boat or to reach out for Jesus, he reached with all his might. That is the rock-hard (Petra, or Peter) faith upon which our Church is built. When Peter, scaredy cat that he often was, had the choice between the boat behind him and Jesus ahead of him, he made the right choice.

That was the real grace of that night on the sea. Peter showed us which direction to go when the waves surround us. Next time you’re in a storm, try it. I promise you’ll find strength in the stretch.

In what ways have you “stretched out” for Jesus?

Kathy McGovern ©2017

Ordinary Time - Cycle A

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