Perhaps many of you are like me being grateful for the gift of water. Water to drink, to bathe in, as a means of transportation, to kayak, to cook, or just to ‘drink in’ as a thing of beauty such as a lake or waterfall. Perhaps some of you are swimmers. Unlike me, though I love the water, I do not know how to swim and the fear of letting myself even float makes me think I will down. In many areas of the world, water is a scarcity. People need to go to great lengths to find it for their necessary but basic needs. Sometimes we take water for granted. Water can also be dangerous and cause destruction, chaos, even death.
In the Gospel, the apostles are on the lake when the winds become strong and the waves of the water buffet the boat. They become frightened. Suddenly, Jesus appears walking on the water toward them. They think He is a ghost. Jesus beckons Peter to come to Him. Peter does and as soon as he realizes he is walking on the turbulent waters and takes his eyes off Jesus’ outstretched hand, he begins to sink.
Today we are surrounded by the turbulent waters of the Coronavirus. Our boat, the world, is being tossed to and fro and we are frightened of this pandemic and what destructions it is causing in every aspect of our lives no matter who we are, what age, race, religion or political stand.
While Peter realized he was walking on water, he took his eyes off Jesus as he felt the strong wind, became scared and began to sink. His faith wavered. He shouts out, “Lord, save me!” Jesus says: “Take heart, fear not, it is I.” Peter said: “If it is You, Lord, command me to walk to you” and Jesus responded with an outstretched hand, “Come!” Peter had a choice to make and he stepped out on the water. Jesus stretched out His hand , caught Peter and chided him for his lack of faith. Another word for faith is ‘trust’.
We do not know how long the pandemic will last. We have been given specific directions: wearing a mask when out and about, keeping social distance, and washing hands, that will not only keep us safe but all those who we encounter during the day. We have a choice: Sink in the waters of the virus or
“Keep your eye on Jesus”, trust Him and take His hand.
Sister Celeste Hupert, CSFN