1 Kgs 19:9a, 11-13a
I am from a large family and there were many times that I looked on as one of my siblings tried to do something for the first time. Sometimes that effort was put toward worthwhile things and other times not. However as one of the younger children I got to watch both. Sometimes I learned what to do and what not…
In the August 10th Sunday gospel, I found myself hanging out with the disciples in the boat watching Peter walk towards what appeared to be Jesus. For the first time, when I placed myself in the boat I thought Peter might have a heat stroke or not enough food in his system. I wasn’t sure why Peter was talking to a vision on the water.
I wondered what would compel him to leave the boat and “walk on water!?” It wasn’t clear to me and I was caught between praying for his soul and wondering how it was that he was staying on top of the water. I wasn’t alone in this, the others were yelling at Peter. We heard him say, “Lord if it is you, command me to walk on the water.” And we watched him climb out of the boat toward the ghost…and then we watched him begin to falter.
Miraculously he seemed to be pulled back up and came back toward the boat. Even more surprising was the fact that it was Jesus who got into our boat with Peter!
I experienced the gospel in a whole new way. Upon hearing the gospel I did not place myself in Peter’s shoes, but behind the eyes of those in the boat. I really questioned Peter’s sanity and his safety. Fortunately, Peter was braver and more courageous than I often see myself. He was willing to leap forward in faith and when he began to go down in the water, he asked Jesus for help.
The question that this gospel begged of me is: am I willing to change from my fearful stance? Am I willing to allow the courageous example of others lead me to actions that are transformed from fearful ghosts to meeting the call of Jesus outside of the safety of the boat?