Posted by: frburke23 | August 2, 2016

Thought for Tuesday, 18th Week in Ordinary Time

Matthew 14:22-36
 
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.
===============================
I love this story of Jesus walking on the water. There are so many things to consider. First of all, as Jesus sees that the boat is being tossed about by the waves, He comes toward them and says, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” These waves are symbolic of the trials and sufferings that we encounter regularly in our daily lives. And the longer I am a priest I realize that every single person reading this has a heavy cross to bear. Jesus does not let us just suffer without coming toward us, assuring us of His presence and saying, “Do not be afraid. I am with you. Keep your eyes focused on me.”
After the disciples get over their fear that Jesus might be a ghost, Peter gets brave and wants to walk on the water. As long as he kept his eyes on Jesus, Peter was able to walk on water! Yet, when he got distracted by the waves and wind, Peter was frightened and began to sink. We too can do amazing things as long as we keep our eyes focused on Jesus. We might even be able to perform miracles in His name. But as soon as we become distracted by the things of the world, or we lose faith in Jesus’ presence and support, we begin to sink. Without Christ we can do nothing. With Christ all things are possible.
Peter then calls out to Jesus in desperation, “Lord, save me!” And of course, the Lord reaches out to save Peter. We too should call out to Jesus when we are distressed, when we feel like we are going to drown in the sea of suffering and pain. The Lord always wants to save us, to heal us, to love us. “I will be with you always, until the end of time,” Jesus assures us. (Matthew 28:20)
Jesus reprimands Peter, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt.” Jesus can’t understand why they don’t trust Him completely after all that He had been showing them. Do we trust in Jesus? Or do we doubt? I think it is a good practice to look back in our lives to see how many times the Lord has rescued us or saved us from difficult situations. By reflecting on this, we begin to trust Jesus’ presence in our lives more in the present moment.
And I always find it interesting that Jesus founded His Church on Peter, the rock. He tells Peter he has little faith. Peter denies Christ three times. Yet, Peter always comes to the point of professing faith in Jesus. It is upon this flawed human being the Jesus places His trust and His Church. We too are sinners like Peter. We falter in faith, hope and love. Yet the Lord calls us to help build His Church here on earth. Despite our imperfections and sinfulness, Jesus says to us, “Come, follow me.” Then He gives us the grace to carry out the mission that He has given each one of us.
 
Do I keep my eyes fixed on Jesus throughout the day, especially in the trials that I face?
Do I trust that Jesus can do great things in and through me?
 
Have a great day!
Fr. Burke
 
Spanish translation:
 
Mateo 14:22-36
En aquel tiempo, inmediatamente después de la multiplicación de los panes, Jesús hizo que sus discípulos subieran a la barca y se dirigieran a la otra orilla, mientras él despedía a la gente. Después de despedirla, subió al monte a solas para orar. Llegada la noche, estaba él solo allí.
 
Entre tanto, la barca iba ya muy lejos de la costa y las olas la sacudían, porque el viento era contrario. A la madrugada, Jesús fue hacia ellos, caminando sobre el agua. Los discípulos, al verlo andar sobre el agua, se espantaron y decían: “¡Es un fantasma!” Y daban gritos de terror. Pero Jesús les dijo enseguida: “Tranquilícense y no teman. Soy yo”.
 
Entonces le dijo Pedro: “Señor, si eres tú, mándame ir a ti caminando sobre el agua”. Jesús le contestó: “Ven”. Pedro bajó de la barca y comenzó a caminar sobre el agua hacia Jesús; pero al sentir la fuerza del viento, le entró miedo, comenzó a hundirse y gritó: “¡Sálvame, Señor!” Inmediatamente Jesús le tendió la mano, lo sostuvo y le dijo: “Hombre de poca fe, ¿por qué dudaste?”
 
En cuanto subieron a la barca, el viento se calmó. Los que estaban en la barca se postraron ante Jesús, diciendo: “Verdaderamente tú eres el Hijo de Dios”.
 
Terminada la travesía, llegaron a Genesaret. Apenas lo reconocieron los habitantes de aquel lugar, pregonaron la noticia por toda la región y les trajeron a todos los enfermos. Le pedían que los dejara tocar siquiera el borde de su manto; y cuantos lo tocaron, quedaron curados.
=======================
Me encanta esta historia de Jesús caminando sobre el agua. Hay tantas cosas a considerar. En primer lugar, como Jesús ve que el barco está siendo sacudido por las olas, Él viene hacia ellos y dice: “Tranquilícense y no teman. Soy yo.” Estas olas son un símbolo de las pruebas y sufrimientos que nos encontramos regularmente en nuestra vida diaria. Y cuanto más tiempo soy sacerdote me doy cuenta de que cada persona leyendo esto tiene una cruz pesada que llevar. Jesús no nos deja sufrir sin venir hacia nosotros, asegurándonos de Su presencia y diciendo: “No tengan miedo. Yo estoy con ustedes. Mantengan sus ojos centrados en mí.”
 
Después de que los discípulos superaron su miedo de que Jesús podría ser un fantasma, Pedro se pone valiente y quiere caminar en el agua. ¡Mientras que mantuvo los ojos en Jesús, Pedro fue capaz de caminar sobre el agua! Sin embargo, cuando se distrajo con las olas y el viento, Pedro se asustó y comenzó a hundirse. Nosotros también podemos hacer cosas increíbles siempre y cuando mantengamos nuestros ojos enfocados en Jesús. Podríamos incluso ser capaces de realizar milagros en Su nombre. Pero tan pronto nos distraigamos por las cosas del mundo, o perdamos la fe en la presencia y el apoyo de Jesús, comenzamos a hundirnos. Sin Cristo no podemos hacer nada. Con Cristo todo es posible.
 
Pedro luego llama a Jesús en su desesperación, “¡sálvame, Señor!” Y, por supuesto, el Señor alcanza a Pedro para salvarlo. Nosotros también debemos llamar a Jesús cuando estamos en dificultades, cuando sentimos que vamos a ahogarnos en el mar de sufrimiento y dolor. El Señor siempre quiere salvarnos, sanarnos, amarnos. “Yo estaré con ustedes siempre, hasta el fin del mundo,” Jesús nos asegura. (Mateo 28:20)
 
Jesús reprende a Pedro: “¡Hombre de poca fe, ¿por qué dudaste?” Jesús no puede entender por qué no confían en Él por completo después de todo lo que había estado mostrándoles. ¿Confiamos en Jesús? ¿O dudamos? Creo que es una buena práctica ver hacia atrás en nuestras vidas para ver cuántas veces el Señor nos ha rescatado o salvado de situaciones difíciles. Al reflexionar en esto, comenzamos a confiar más en la presencia de Jesús en nuestras vidas en el momento presente.
 
Y siempre me parece interesante que Jesús fundó Su Iglesia sobre Pedro, la roca. Él le dice a Pedro que tiene poca fe. Pedro niega a Cristo tres veces. Sin embargo, Pedro siempre llega al punto de profesar la fe en Jesús. Es sobre este ser humano imperfecto que Jesús pone Su confianza y Su Iglesia. Nosotros también somos pecadores como Pedro. Fallamos en la fe, esperanza y amor. Sin embargo, el Señor nos llama a ayudar a construir Su Iglesia aquí en la tierra. A pesar de nuestras imperfecciones y pecados, Jesús nos dice: “Ven y sígueme”. Luego Él nos da la gracia para llevar a cabo la misión que nos ha dado a cada uno de nosotros.
 
¿Mantengo mis ojos fijos en Jesús a lo largo del día, especialmente en las pruebas que enfrento?
¿Confío en que Jesús puede hacer grandes cosas en y a través de mi?
 
¡Que tengas un gran día!
Padre Burke

Responses

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! We to cherish your friendship as well! We are well but still are struggling with the Lords new calling for us and to be honest the people of the church… Not sure I’m able to articulate it but we are always praying and talking to Jesus about it! We know that he’ll make it clear if we keep persisting in prayer and service to and for him! Fr. Burke, you are an amazing priest and disciple of the Lord, also on your way to Saint hood! But please don’t become a Saint too soon , selfishly speaking we love you too much to part from you yet! 🙏😇😍 In Love & Christ , Bill & Sue Crow

    Sent from my iPhone

    >


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