In Ecuador, football is the most popular game. Most of the time, during recreation in the seminary, the seminarians are playing this game and they always want me to play with them. One time, when we Eudists seminarians had a scheduled game with the Dominicans I was forced to play with them and my role was the goal keeper. At first I was so hesitant and afraid because I don’t know how to play football, second, I might be hit by the ball (they “shot” or kick the ball very strong). But during the game I said to myself that I can do it and I put my confidence on it, I was able to play well (guard the goal) and we won the game.
In our gospel today, we hear that Jesus was seen by the disciples walking on the water and they were all terrified because they thought that it was a ghost but Jesus said to them “do not be afraid it is I” and Peter said to him in reply “Lord if it is you, command me to come to you on the water. And Jesus said to him “come”. At first, Peter was able to walk perfectly on the water however, when he saw the (great) wind, he was frightened and he began to sink. Peter demonstrates his strong faith in God, he believes that Jesus can do it for him when he said ‘Lord if it is you command me to come to you on the water’. At that point he did not hesitate; he did not doubt that he can do it, so he got out of the boat and walk on the water. But when he saw the great wind he loses his faith, he doubted and that is why he began sinking.
This passage is an amazing lesson of faith. When Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus, he had a strong faith in Jesus that he could save him. He did not asked Jesus for a promise that he won’t sink but he asked for a command because Peter learned that the commands of Jesus, when received with faith, people make able. Also Peter had a great obedience to Jesus call. When Jesus said ‘come’ Peter walked on the water toward Jesus. It’s a faith lesson, even if we sink in our doubts, despairing, or disappointments, we can walk toward Jesus. He is always there.
Our life is full of struggles. We all experience difficulties and problems in life. Sometimes our problems are as irritating and aggravating; sometimes they are much bigger and seek to overwhelm us. We experience sickness or disease, hardship, financial problems, legal problems, family problems. But despite of all these problems and difficulties in our life and even sometimes we fail, Jesus is there for us. Jesus is always ready to lift us in our hands when we are sinking.
Jesus wants us all to walk toward Him, in faith, on the “water” of our life. He wants us to cast out all our fears, our doubts and commit to Him with a drastic faith. We are all like Peter; we want to walk on the water toward Jesus but the winds of doubt mingle with the inner turmoil of our own hearts, and the circumstances of our own life, to affect our faith. Peter’s faith was tested – as ours is – everyday. His example of calling out to the Lord in faith should be our calling, too, especially when we are confronted with the real situations and we begin to feel the winds of self-doubt and dissatisfaction.