August 4 Tuesday: (St. John Maria Vianney: Mt 9: 35-10:1) Matthew 14: 22-36: 22
Then he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while
he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the
mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat
by this time was many furlongs distant from the land, beaten by the waves; for the wind
was against them. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on
the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified,
saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. 27 But immediately he spoke to them,
saying, “Take heart, it is I; have no fear.” 28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you,
bid me come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and
walked on the water and came to Jesus; 30 but when he saw the wind, he was afraid,
and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out
his hand and caught him, saying to him, “O man of little faith, why did you doubt?”
The context: The event presented by today’s Gospel is the scene immediately following
Jesus’ miraculous feeding of the five thousand with five loaves of bread and two fish.
Sensing the danger of having the people make him leader of a revolt, Jesus promptly
instructed his apostles to leave the place by boat and, after dispersing the crowd,
went by himself to the mountain to pray.
A double miracle in the sea: When the apostles in the boat were several furlongs away
from the shore they faced an unexpected storm in the sea caused by the hot wind of the
desert rushing into the Sea of Galilee through the gaps in the Golan Heights.
Recognizing the danger, Jesus walked on the stormy waters toward the boat. Jesus
calmed the frightened disciples as he approached the boat and allowed Peter to do a
trial walk on water, then saved him from drowning when he began to get frightened. As
soon as Jesus brought Peter into the boat the storm ceased miraculously. The apostles
recognized the presence of God in their midst and they all worshipped Jesus.
Life messages: 1) Let us approach Jesus with strong faith in his ability and
availability to calm the storms in our lives and in the life of the Church.
Church history shows us how Jesus saved his Church from the storms of
persecution in the first three centuries, from the storms of heresies in the
fifth and sixth centuries, from the storms of moral degradation and the
Protestant reformation movement in the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries, and the storms of sex abuse scandals of the clergy in the
twentieth and twenty-first centuries. 2) Let us ask Jesus to protect us when
we face storms of strong temptations, storms of doubts about our religious
beliefs, and storms of fear, anxiety and worries in our personal lives. 3)
Experiencing Jesus’ presence in our lives, let us confess our