19th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday, August 13, 2017

Father Jim Valk's picture

Father Jim Valk

August 2, 2017

Years ago we were interviewing for a job and a Sister applied.  Fr. Ed wasn’t too sure if she was the best candidate for the job so he suggested that we take her fishing with us.  Unfortunately one of the fishing hooks got caught on a log a good ways from the boat.  The Sister says “I’ll get it” and then proceeds to walk across the water to release the hook from the log.  Fr Ed’s response to witnessing this miracle is “See she can’t even swim!” His focus is elsewhere and he totally misses the point.  Sometimes we can be overwhelmed by life’s difficulties, pains and fears which can cause us to miss the little miracles; like a baby’s first step, a first kiss, first car, first day of school etc. Has this ever happened to you?  Who holds you up when all is falling apart around you? Do your fears cause you to miss out on life’s little miracles? 


When Jesus’ disciples were out in the boat far out on the lake and battling a heavy sea, Jesus walked across the water to them. The disciples think that Jesus is a ghost and are terrified.  When Jesus tells them not to be afraid Peter answers “Lord, if it is you, tell me to come to you across the water”. “Come” said Jesus, but when Peter gets out of the boat and starts walking towards Jesus across the water, he feels the force of the wind, he takes fright and begins to sink.  Jesus puts out his hand and holds Peter up.  “Man of little faith,” Jesus says “why did you doubt?” And as they got into the boat the wind dropped. Another time Peter would jump into the lake again – after the resurrection! Then he would be asked not just to hold a hand, but to be the hand that would reach out to others. Jesus walks on the water. In our lives this type of gospel suits a decision time, a time of deep trust – an invitation to come to the water; to not to be afraid.


Where do you see yourself in the boat? Are you huddled in the bottom? Clinging to the rail? Floundering in the water? Or reaching out to others? God prepares each of us for our mission, always with us in our efforts to live in love and service of him. We can all walk on water if we love and trust enough in the Lord. 


Lord, your sea is so vast and my boat is so small – God is in our boat, do not be afraid, have faith!