19TH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME
At the beginning of this week we had the centenary of the start of the First World War which was called the war to end all wars. As we know all too well the great war of 1914 did not stop the world going to war many times after it ended in 1918. We only have to look at the modern world that we live in to see so many places at war and Syria, Israel and Gaza, and the Ukraine all come to mind this weekend. We pray for those who have died or are being persecuted and we pray for peace.
The gospel reading this weekend is all about Jesus walking on water but if you look beyond the walking on water this story is really about trust and faith in God. We have no problem identifying with Peter he is so like ourselves . He is confident one moment and then, when things get difficult and he has bitten off more than he can chew, he falls apart. By then it is too late and he needs help. Life is like that, we start at something like a new job, college, marriage, or a project to help others, but then it gets complex and beyond what we are capable of. We didn’t realize it was going to require so much time and effort! We are sinking, we are drowning. Not an uncommon experience in so many situations of life and in the way we deal with them.
God doesn’t always give us an immediate cure or a fast solution when we bring ourselves in prayer as well as the problems of the day to God. God, through Jesus, is not a distant Father aloof from our problems. Jesus shows us that when he reaches out a hand to Peter and to us he is companion with us in the storms of life.
At times we may well be floundering, like Peter, but Jesus reaches out to help us, to rescue us. What better image of salvation could there be than Jesus reaching out to Peter to save him from drowning. What better analogy could there be of our own lives and relationship with Jesus. We live messy lives, we doubt and we lack faith but nevertheless we are still moving towards the Lord. In the days ahead when we flounder and start to sink Jesus will be there for us, reaching out with his saving hand ready to raise us up.