Saturday, August 9, 2014


Lately the account of St. Peter walking on the water (Matthew 14:22-33) has come up with a certain insistence in my life. I blogged about it pretty throughly on July 13, but then it came up as the assigned weekday gospel just this past week -- and it's the gospel for this Sunday, August 10. Then yesterday it came up in my class on "The Wisdom of St. Benedict." So I figure I better pay it some more attention today.

We read the passage at our morning "convocation" of the whole student body; following our custom, the student leading the service then asked if anyone had anythong to say about how the reading had touched them. This sophomore then stood up and encouraged his 550 brothers with some powerful words. They included the following ideas:

Just keep on walking, Peter!
When the waves of your life start to get too big, whether it's some problem in your family or at school or whatever, when you think you're about to sink, just keep walking! When some big challenge comes along, just walk on it! Go ahead and walk on it! You have to trust that Jesus can make you walk on the waves no mater how big they seem. Just keep walking

After this student sat down, his brothers couldn't help but applaud (ordinarily we're not supposed to react or respond to someone's reflection). I was grateful for his eloquent insight. In fact that same day I got out my Greek New Testament and wrote in the margin next to the story, "Just walk on it! Keep on Walking!"


Maurus saving Placid from drowning. Just walk on it!
Yesterday in class we read from Gregory the Great's biography of St. Benedict the story of how Benedict dispatched the young monk Maurus to go down to the lake and help little Placid who had just fallen in and was being swept away by the current. Placid, a young teenager, races obediently down the hill and runs right out onto the lake until he gets to the drowning boy and lifts him out of the water and delivers him safely to shore. Only then does Maurus realize what has happened - that he has just walked out onto the lake and brought Placid back. St. Gregory uses the story to extol the virtue of monastic obedience. But the lesson is obviously one that any Christian can use: If you do your best to follow God's will, God is going to take care of you, and you'll be able to do things you never dreamed of doing. I think of that student's reflection: "You just walk on it! Just keep walking!" 

So, I figure there must be a message in all of this for me, and maybe for you, too. Ler me end this post by repeating once more the message of the sophomore about the Christian way to deal with your own biggest problem: In the power of Jesus you just walk on it! And just keep on walking!


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