Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A 1 Kgs 19:9a,11-13a; Ps 85:9-14; Rm 9:1-5; Mt 14:22-33
Today’s Gospel teaches us a great deal about trust in God and about divine providence. We can consider three points: first, what the disciples feared, second, Peter’s sinking, and, lasting, Christ’s kingship.
First, the disciples were very afraid of the storm. During the spring, storms would arise often and suddenly, so it shouldn’t surprise us that the disciples found themselves in this situation. Yet, “the very thing the disciples feared (the sea) was only a staircase for Him to come to them”; it was the instrument that Jesus Christ used to draw near to them. “Often we fear the difficult experiences of life, only to discover that these experiences bring Jesus Christ closer to us.” This leads to another question: “Why did the disciples not recognize Jesus?” Why did they think He was a ghost? “Because they weren’t looking for Him.” The same happens in our lives, if we’re not looking for Christ in the midst of difficulties and challenges: we’ll miss Him.
Second, “what [was it that] caused Peter to sink? His faith began to waver because he took his eyes off of the Lord and began to look at the circumstances. . . . [Nonetheless], we must give Peter credit for knowing that he was sinking and for crying out to the Lord for help. He cried out when he was ‘beginning to sink,’ and not when he was drowning.” Often it’s hard for us to ask for help; we usually wait until we’re in over our heads. Yet, Christ is there, waiting for us to ask Him. As soon as we do, He sticks out His hand to stabilize us and save us.
Lastly, “this miracle also magnifies Christ’s kingship. When Matthew wrote Peter’s request, ‘Command me to come to you on the water,’ the Greek word means ‘the command of a king.’ Peter knew that Jesus Christ was King over all nature, including the wind and the waves. His word is law, and the elements must obey.” We can ask ourselves, do we really trust the goodness and love of our Heavenly King?
Today, through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Faith, let’s ask for the grace to be able to see Christ at work even in the midst of difficult circumstances, and to trust in His love and His providence, even when the situation seems bleak.