Sunday, August 9th, 2020 | By Rev. Michael P. Hanifin
Our Catholic Christian spirituality invites us to surrender control of our lives to God in grateful recognition of the simple fact that we are the recipient of a special gift from Him given out of the abundant and generous love he has for us.
On this 19th Sunday of Ordinary time, our Mass readings illustrate what amazing things can happen when we fully invite God to come into and dwell within our hearts and take charge of our lives by embracing the way of life God invites Christians to live.
When we take our eyes off the Lord, we fail to see that all we have is a gift from Him. We lose trust in Him and we do not make our lives a grateful response to His gift of love.
Peter made this mistake in our Gospel passage from Matthew. Jesus sent the disciples in a boat ahead of Him to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Later that evening, the Gospel claims that during the fourth watch of the night (between 3 and 6 a.m.), Jesus casually approached the boat while walking on the sea. He invited Peter to join Him. As Peter began to walk on the water, he momentarily took his eyes off Jesus to notice the strong wind surrounding them. Peter panicked and with that, he sank.
But what if Peter had not taken his eyes off Jesus Christ? What a grand adventure he could have experienced walking on the sea with Jesus! When we take our own eyes off Christ and the many blessings He has given us, as well as the loving way He treats us, we also panic and sink.
When we embrace the dignity and freedom that comes with the Christian way of life — letting go of the suffocating hold over our money, time and talents — our lives become a grand adventure, rooted firmly and gratefully in the God Who always cares for and will always be there for us, even in our darkest and scariest moments.