August 10, 2014 – Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
1 Kgs 19: 9A, 11-13A; Ps 85: 9-14; Rom 9: 1-5; Mt 14: 22-33
“Oh you of little faith. Why did you doubt?” Are those words that might apply to us at times? This week’s Gospel recounts the well known description of Jesus walking on the water of the Sea of Galilee. We need to remember that last week we heard of the feeding of the 5,000. This narrative follows immediately after that one.
Each week all of our readings abound with stewardship messages, but this chronicle is so well known and has such a powerful message that we need to focus on it. In fact, focus is the fundamental word in today’s Gospel. The word “focus” is not used directly, but Jesus’ challenge to Peter, and to us as well, about faith, has everything to do with our focus.
St. Peter, we now know, was a man of great faith, in spite of his shortcomings. There was a sound reason Jesus identified Peter as the man on whom He could build the Kingdom, the Church. Peter leaps from the boat with faith and begins to do the remarkable by walking on the water toward the Lord. Yet he is suddenly distracted by the storm and everything that is going on around him. The moment his eyes stray from Jesus, the moment Peter loses his focus on the Lord, he sinks. We are the same. Stewardship demands that we focus on the Lord, each moment of each day. That way we have the strength to overcome anything.