Step #1: Lectio / Read
Jesus made the disciples get into a boat
and precede him to the other side of the sea,
while he dismissed the crowds.
After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.
When it was evening he was there alone.
Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore,
was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night,
he came toward them, walking on the sea.
When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified.
“It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear.
At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Peter said to him in reply,
“Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
He said, “Come.”
Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.
But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened;
and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him,
and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
After they got into the boat, the wind died down.
Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying,
“Truly, you are the Son of God.”
After making the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret.
When the men of that place recognized him,
they sent word to all the surrounding country.
People brought to him all those who were sick
and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak,
and as many as touched it were healed.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
So here we are, stuck in the middle of a huge lake, big storm, no Jesus.
Then the craziest thing happens.
There he is. On the lake. That's right, not in the lake, but on it. Walking on the water. At first we thought it was a ghost, but Jesus called out to us, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid." On one hand, he always has a way of surprising us. On the other hand, this is crazy! What if it's some sort of trick? What if it's not really him?
But then I opened my big mouth: "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water."
Why did I say that? Sometimes I wish I could think before I speak. Come to him on the water? I'm still not sure it's even him! And let's say it is Jesus. There's really no way this could work. It's just... when I'm around him, everything is different.
Sometimes he makes me wonder if maybe we've been looking at things all wrong.
But despite my crazy request, his answer is even crazier: "Come."
Here I go again. Before I can think better of it, I'm stepping out of the boat. Yes, that's right, I'm stepping out of a boat into a lake in the middle of a storm. My feet hit the water, waves keep crashing into me, but I don't sink. My feet feel like they're on solid ground.
I'm walking on water.
I start moving towards Jesus, but the storm seems to get worse. What am I doing? This is nuts! Suddenly I'm overwhelmingly embarrassed. I can't be walking on water! I probably jumped onto a sandbar or a large boulder or something. There's gotta be some rational explanation for what's happening. This is just too unreal.
I was right. I started to sink... I'm such a moron. What was I thinking? The waves hit harder, I sink faster. Panic starts to blossom in my chest. This is it. I'm going to die. I did this to myself, really. If I would just think things through more... The water is already up to my chest and I'm sinking faster.
So I did the only thing I knew left to do: "Lord, save me!"
Suddenly he's right there, and he caught me. I'm reeling now. I barely know what's happening. He lifts me into the boat, my clothing is dripping all over the bottom. Everyone's looking at me, but I'm ashamed to look at Jesus. How can I ever prove myself to him if I keep making such blundering mistakes? Then I hear his voice: "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"
But when I raise my eyes to meet his... he's grinning. I'm slammed with confusion, disbelief, anger, relief. I can't help but laugh. And I can't look away from him. He knows what a fool I can be. But the way he looks at me... He seems pleased. Like he's proud of me. I'm not sure why he'd be so happy that I just dove out of a boat in the middle of a storm...
The storm. It's gone. I didn't realize it until now. I can even see blue skies where the clouds have already parted. The wind is only a gentle breeze. I look back to Jesus. His face is a little more serious now.
Why did I doubt? After what we've seen him do, why am I surprised that he could walk on the water and harness the weather? Why do I doubt him? He doesn't doubt me. I can't do any miracles, but he seems to have so much faith in me. There's something really unique and remarkable about him. And he makes me believe that maybe there's even something unique and remarkable about me.
Like I said, I think maybe we've been looking at things all wrong.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
Have you ever had a moment like St. Peter in today's gospel? When you feel like Jesus is calling you to do something that seems crazy and scary?
Talk to Jesus about the fears that paralyze you. What makes you most afraid to get out of the boat?
St. Peter had weaknesses and faults he struggled with, but he allowed the Lord to use him anyway. What weaknesses and faults do you struggle with? How can you let the Lord work in you through them?
Pray for St. Peter's intercession, that you would be more blessed with zeal like his. A passion that drives him to follow Jesus, even when it seems crazy.
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
"Command me to come to You on the water."
"Lord, save me."
"Jesus, stir up zeal in my heart!"
For the Rest of Your Day...
Whenever you mess up today, instead of beating yourself up about it, offer your faults to the Lord. Imagine Him looking at you and grinning, pleased at the humility He's planted in you.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Dan Wolff.
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