Monday, XVII Week of Ordinary Time, Year A

O you of little faith, why did you doubt?

Readings: 1st: Jer 28:1-17; Ps 118; Gos: Mt 14:22-36

This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico, the island of enchantment. He is the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico; the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. For more details and comments contact him at:  canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

Today, the Monday of the eighteenth week of ordinary time, Matthew presents us a dramatic faith encounter between Christ and his disciples.

At times in life, one can be so frustrated by difficulties to the point that one becomes too afraid to advance in life. Such a state could derange one’s mental process and perception of life.

Such was the case of the poor disciples of Christ in today’s gospel represented by Peter. While still battling with a deadly storm threatening their lives, Christ came to their rescue walking on the sea.

Already paralyzed by fear of the storm, Peter took Christ for a ghost. Obviously, salt was added to their injury. Of course, his fear was justifiable. It is not normal for a human being to walk on the sea without sinking.

The rest of this episode is very interesting. Christ assured Peter: “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter made an urgent request: “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”

Christ invited him: “Come!” Peter stepped into the water, took a few steps, and began to sink. This was in spite of the assurance Christ gave him. Of course, Christ came to his rescue.

Some times in life, we start well like Peter. However, when we become conscious of our past, or our real-life situation, we succumb to fear. Sadly, we forget that the Lord is with us in our Journey.

Today’s reading has a very important lesson for us. First, it presents a typical picture of our journey of faith. It reminds us that, paralyzed by fear, one can hardly make any progress in life.

However, there is always a very powerful antidote to fear. It is called, faith. This antidote is manifested through courage in the presence of the Lord and our Savior Jesus Christ.

Why is my courage gone? Why am I sinking? What am I afraid of? The psalmist tells us that: “This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles” (Ps 34: 6).

So, like Peter, let us cry out: “Lord help me,” because, “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Rom 10:13), and his faith restored.

Peace be with you.

Maranatha!

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