Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them.
And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus.
But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret. After the people of that place recognized him, they sent word throughout the region and brought all who were sick to him, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
I once heard a preacher state: “Great faith is overrated. What we really need, more than a great faith, is a great God.” I remember hearing that and thinking it was baloney; I pray for an increase of faith all the time! If only I had more faith!
Today’s gospel, however, reminds me that God’s greatness is much more reliable (and awesome, and creative) than my weak faith. When Peter falters, he knows to whom he must turn. In God, anything is possible.
Let us pray that, when God leads us out into the miraculous, we have the grace to surrender our frail, human faith and freely embrace God’s awesome power.
—Michael Lamanna, S.J., a Jesuit scholastic of the U.S. Northeast Jesuit province, is currently teaching at the Jesuit school in Yap, Micronesia.
Life-giving God, increase my faith these life-giving days of summer.
Help me stand before the fire of your love and the strength of your grace
in holiness and in hope. Amen!