19th Sunday in Ordinary Time A 

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This is a Gospel that is familiar to so many. As often happens where Peter is to the forefront, nothing goes exactly to his plan! He starts off so well but then things go downhill from there. The beginning of the Gospel, though, tells of Jesus’ need for some space, some quiet time for Himself. He doesn’t go to put His feet up: He goes into the hills to spend some time in prayer – to recharge His batteries, as it were. 
 
Having sent the apostles off in a boat to go the other side He is alone. As the time goes on, it becomes apparent that the boat is battling the sea because of the wind. At this point Jesus is seen walking on the water towards them. Understandably they were terrified and wondered if it were a ghost they were seeing. Having cried out in fear, Jesus calls to them not to be afraid. Peter then tells Jesus to tell him to come to Him, if He really is who He says He is. Jesus utters just one word: ‘Come’ and Peter steps out of the boat. 
 
All went well for Peter: he was walking on the water towards Jesus, just as He had promised. However, as happens with Peter, as soon as there is a problem he doubts Jesus. As he does so he begins to sink and calls out for Jesus to save him, which He does. Jesus then admonishes him asking, ‘Man of little faith, why did you doubt?’ As they got into the boat the apostles bowed down before Him, astounded as they were at what had just happened. 
 
We can identify with Peter – we often test the Lord by doing what He asks but then having second thoughts and, like Peter, panicking. Why do we doubt? Do we have so little faith that we feel we can’t complete what we have been asked to do? Are we overcome by the enormity of the situation? There may be many reasons as to why we doubt or panic. The important thing, perhaps, is not that we panic but that we keep on shouting out for Jesus to save us when times are difficult and to know that Jesus will reach out His hand to us – every time. 
 
One last thought – Jesus had been praying quietly when His attention was drawn to the developing situation on the lake. He left what He was doing because He knew He would be needed. Prayer is very important but so are the actions that follow it – what better example could we have than this of Jesus Himself? 
 
Sr. Margaret Mattison