In this morning’s Gospel we hear fear in the voices of the Apostles. As they were crossing the sea a great storm began to toss their boat around like a toy being played with in the bath. It was the middle of the night and Jesus had sent them ahead the evening before so that He could dismiss the crowd. Alone in the storm tossed boat they saw something in the distance. “It is a ghost!” (Matthew 14.26) Their fear had blinded them, and they did not recognize Jesus. Trying to comfort them, Jesus said, “Be of good cheer. It is I. Do not be afraid.” (Matthew 14.27)
Still not convinced that it was the Lord, “Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." (Matthew 14.28) Suddenly Peter was walking ON TOP of the water as he went to Jesus. Unfortunately that didn’t last long. As soon as Peter began to look around at the storm, and took his eyes off Christ, he was again filled with fear, and he began to sink. In a panic Peter cried out, “Lord, save me!” (Matthew 14.30) Christ saved Peter, but not before chastising him for his weak faith. “Why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14.31) The Gospel story ends on a positive note. Peter and the disciples were saved from the horrible storm, and they praised God, “Truly, You are the Son of God!” (Matthew 14.33)
How about your story? Are you in the midst of a storm in your life? Everyone has at least one storm in their life, which reminds them of today’s Gospel. Life has a way of repeating itself, and we often find ourselves no different than the Apostles, experiencing a horrible storm in life not sure that we will ever find our way to calmer water. We call out to Christ, but often our fear blinds us to His presence right in front of us. We even have those moments, like Peter, when we are staying above the waves of life walking toward Christ. Then, just like Peter, we take our eyes off of Christ, panic, and begin to sink again. When will we learn?
Ever since Adam and Eve, we humans have struggled to keep our eyes on God. Like Peter, it was when Eve took her eyes off God in the Garden, that she sunk into sin. Generation after generation, the story repeats itself, and generation after generation Christ steps up and, like He did with Peter, lifts us out of the storm and brings us safely to the shore. When will we learn?
Today is our chance to break the pattern in our life. Today is our chance to walk out to Christ, in the midst of the storm, but this time to keep our eyes focused on Him. Fortunately for us, He never stops reaching out His hand to save us. Maybe this time we will take His hand and not let go. “Lord save us!”