Visitors Counter

Since 2011

Matthew 14:22-36

I’ve always found it difficult to see the main message in today’s Gospel reading from Matthew 15, about Jesus walking on the water and inviting Peter to do the same.  There is nothing in our human experience to suggest that walking on water is possible, so I find myself asking what else is being said here, looking for something to guide me in the more ongoing and everyday experiences of human life.  This is because I can’t help but thinking that if I spend my life trying to walk on water, I will have really missed the point.

Two things jump out at me in particular:  the invitation and the rescue.  First, Jesus does invite Peter to do something really amazing, and I think we are invited to do extraordinary things, too.  Through the Incarnation and his life on earth, Jesus showed us what humans are meant to be.  We are meant to be loving, forgiving, compassionate, and merciful.  We are meant to question and challenge figures of authority who seem to have forgotten that leadership means service to others, not protection of privilege and influence at all costs.  Finally, we are meant to remain faithful to our deepest convictions and our central identity as beings created in the image and likeness of God.  This might seem daunting, but I doubt most of us see it as miraculous.  Human history and today’s news, though, are rife with stories of war, murder, deceit, and the worship of wealth and power.  So when you look at that long tale, the humanity that Jesus invites us into really is extraordinary.

Second, there is the rescue.  As I already mentioned, living in the way we are meant to live looks pretty daunting when we consider some aspects of the social and political reality in which we are trying to live, as well as the human jealousies, selfishness, and pettiness that each and every one of us is all too familiar with.  So, we can probably count on failing or falling short with quite a bit of regularity.  But God reaches out to us, like Jesus reaching out to Peter.  Our focus on living the life that Jesus has revealed to us sometimes falters, but if we are open to and strive for that life, we won’t be allowed to drown.  God doesn’t write us off every time we fail to live up to our deepest identity, thank goodness!  Instead, God continually invites and reaches out to us when we need it, pulling us at our core and pushing us to be who God desires us to be.

If I examine my everyday experiences, where have I failed to live in a Christ-like way?  Where and how do I feel continually called and pulled to change my ways?  What do I need to do in my life in order to be open to and recognize when God is reaching out to me?  Maybe it’s more regular prayer and reflection, journaling about daily experiences, or conversation with a family member, friend, or spiritual advisor.  These can be some intentional avenues for us to watch for God’s hand reaching out to pull us up as we are continually invited to live in an extraordinary way.

By Craig Zimmer

Pope Francis Twitter Feed

* Our Way of Life *


"Our diverse talents and abilities, our differences in culture, nationality and age are assets for the richness of the community. Although we may be engaged in a variety of ministries, we all share the common call to apostolic discipleship in a community of the Catholic Apostolate of St. Vincent Pallotti."(OWL, 91)



"Christ, the Apostle of the Eternal Father, and his mission are central to our personal and community life, giving meaning and direction to our thinking, our spirituality, our prayer, action and suffering." (OWL, 19)



"As a community of disciples we are gathered around Jesus, the Apostle of the Eternal Father. Like the first disciples, we want to be with Jesus, be sent out by him and return to him to evaluate our service in the light of his presence." (OWL, 88)



"As Pallottines, it is our special charism to foster growth in faith and love among the laity, to awaken them to awareness of their apostolic call, and to cooperate with them in furthering the apostolic mission." (OWL, 21)



"Our relationships with one another should be marked by a love that bears all, believes all and hopes for all, a love that is neither conceited nor jealous, which hurts no one, nor is embittered or resentful. It is never discouraged but remains patient and kind. It rejoices with others and shares their suffering. It is with this kind of love that we should help and support one another." (OWL, 90)