Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them.
And early in the morning he came walking towards them on the lake. But when the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’
Peter answered him, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’ He said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came towards Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’
Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’ When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshipped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
A cursory reading of the Gospels can give the impression that Jesus moved from one thing to the next, with little interruption. This week, for example, it is easy to focus on the miraculous feeding of the five thousand that took place just before, or on the forthcoming walking on the water. Nestled between these two exceptional displays of Jesus’s command over creation, however, is the subtle indication that Jesus needed time alone to pray. He needed time to reconnect with God before returning to work. This is a good lesson for us who so often move from one thing to the next with little interruption. Of course we all need time to recharge, but do we take the time to reconnect with God, who is ultimately the one working great things through us? This week, perhaps we take a moment between things to retreat away and to pray.
—Deacon David A. Lugo, SJ, is a transitional deacon of the Central and Southern Province who will be ordained to the priesthood on August 15th in St. Louis, MO. He studies theology at Comillas Pontifical University in Madrid, Spain.
Loving God, our days are busy and stressful, and it can be difficult to take time out to pause and pray. Give us a gentle nudge to remember to step back from what we are doing to spend a moment in conversation with you, so that we can grow ever closer to you. Amen.
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