Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Reflection: Matthew 14:22-36

Tuesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time - Matthew 14:22-36

Today we have the familiar Gospel story of the storm at sea. Jesus told his disciples to get into the boat and precede him to the other side of the sea. He wanted to dismiss the crowds who had been listening to him preach. The disciples got into the boat and Jesus went up the mountain to pray. He simply needed some quiet and space.

While the disciples were crossing to the other shore, a fierce storm came up. The boat was being severely tossed around. The disciples began to worry because the storm was more violent than they had anticipated. In the midst of this fierce storm, Jesus came toward them, walking on the sea! Naturally, the disciples thought they were seeing a ghost! After all, no human being can walk on water. They were terrified!

At that point, Jesus said: “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Naturally, Peter was the first one to respond. He tells Jesus: “If it truly is you, command me to come to you on the water.” Jesus simply replied: “Come!” Peter stepped out of the boat and began to walk toward Jesus. However, the waves were rough and extremely high and Peter became frightened and began to sink. He immediately cried out to Jesus: “Save me!” Jesus simply reached out and took Peter’s hand and caught him. It seems that Jesus was disappointed in Peter’s lack of faith. Jesus asked him: “Why did you doubt?”

The disciples all were amazed and awed at this event. When Jesus got into their boat they did him homage and said: “Truly, you are the Son of God!” Word of this amazing event spread to the surrounding country. Many people came to Jesus. They brought to him all who were sick. They begged him to allow them to simply touch the tassel on his cloak. They believed that if they barely touched Jesus’ clothing, they would be healed. And every person who touched his clothing was healed of their infirmities!

Take a moment and become quiet and still. Then ask yourself: what is the “storm” in your life that you hope Jesus will calm? Or what is the healing that you would hope for if you could reach out and touch Jesus’ clothing? Sit with your desire for several minutes.

Now allow your longing and desire to flow toward Jesus and trust that Jesus knows of your desire for healing. Then sit quietly for several minutes and allow peace, love and healing to flow into you from Jesus. You may not feel anything or experience a miracle. You simply need to trust that Jesus is healing you even though the healing may not manifest itself immediately.

True healing is a process and thus it typically takes time. Yes, there are miracles that happen instantly; however, they are rare. Can we trust that Jesus is healing us, even if we don’t experience an immediate change? In your heart, hold Jesus’ words: “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid!” Jesus will not fail us! However, we have to hold onto our belief and our trust in Jesus. May we have the grace to do so!

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