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Trust Jesus to calm storms in your life

Based on 1 Kgs 19:9a, 11-13a; Rom 9:1-5; Mt 14:22-33

“Do not be afraid” echoes through this Sunday’s readings – a reminder that Jesus is always with us and cares for us. He only asks that we believe in him.

Jesus had just miraculously fed 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish. He tells the disciples to get into a boat and go to the other side of the lake. Jesus then goes up the mountain alone to pray.

As night falls, the winds grow stronger and the disciples’ boat is tossed about by the raging storm. Suddenly, they see someone coming toward the boat – walking on the water. Terrified, they think it is a ghost. Out of the darkness, Jesus speaks, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”

Jesus waited until the “fourth watch of the night” to go to the disciples. The fourth watch refers to the time between 3 and 6 a.m.

The Romans divided the 12 hours between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. into four equal parts called “watches.” Since the storm began as night fell, this means the disciples and their boat were tossed about by the waves for most of the night before Jesus appeared.

Peter shouts to Jesus, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” “Come!” says Jesus.

Peter climbs out of the boat and walks on the water toward Jesus. As Peter moves away from the boat, he feels the powerful wind and becomes afraid. He begins sinking and cries out, “Lord, save me!” 

Immediately, Jesus stretches out his hand and catches Peter and says, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 

As they return to the boat, the stormy wind dies down. The disciples kneel before Jesus and say, “Truly, you are the Son of God.”

Peter didn’t always understand Jesus’ teaching and even denied knowing him, but after Pentecost he faithfully carried on Jesus’ mission and ended up being martyred for the faith.

Just as Jesus invited Peter to trust and come to him, Jesus invites us, too, to come to him – with trust that his love for us will never fail and he will calm the storms, troubles and fears that arise in our lives. Jesus assures us, “Do not be afraid; I am with you.”