– Tuesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time –
“He said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus.” [Matthew 14:29]
Saint Peter often comes under criticism in this gospel reading. The story is quite well known: the disciples are travelling across the sea after a night of being battered by the waves, and when morning comes they see Jesus walking across the water towards them. Although they are scared at first, they soon realise that it’s Jesus. Then Peter, at Jesus’ beckoning, steps out of the boat and walks towards him. With the wind blowing and realising that what he is doing is impossible, Peter starts to sink.
I used to read Jesus’ subsequent words to Peter – “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” – only as an admonishment. Yet it’s worth keeping in mind what I once heard from a pastor: Peter actually got out of the boat. There were twelve disciples in that boat but it was only Peter, with his ‘little faith,’ who stepped out of it and started walking on the water.
It’s yet another example of Jesus inviting his people to be a part of his great miracles; an invitation that he extends to us every day.
Jesus, thank you for calling out to us, for beckoning us to come towards you. Help us see the ways we can respond to you every day; the ways we can step out of the boat and draw closer to you.
by Nattasha Mierendorf