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TAKE COURAGE, IT IS I; DO NOT BE AFRAID!

Monday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings: Jeremiah 28: 1-17; Psalms 119: 29, 43, 79, 80, 95, 102; Matthew 14:22-36


My dear encountered couples:

Today we have the familiar Gospel story of the storm at sea. Jesus tells his disciples to get into the boat and precede him to the other side of the sea. He needed some quiet and space. He went up the mountain to pray.


While the disciples were crossing to the other shore, a fierce storm came up. The disciples began to worry. The storm was more violent than they had anticipated. In the midst of this fierce storm, Jesus came toward them, walking on the sea! Naturally, the disciples thought they were seeing a ghost! After all, no human being can walk on water. They were terrified!


At that point, Jesus said: “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid!” Naturally, Peter is the first one to respond. He tells Jesus: “If it truly is you, command me to come to you on the water!” Jesus simply replied: “Come!” Peter stepped out of the boat and began to walk toward Jesus! However, the waves were rough and extremely high and Peter became frightened. And at that moment, he began to sink! He immediately cried out to Jesus: “Save me!” Jesus reached out and took Peter’s hand and caught him. He was disappointed in Peter’s lack of faith and asked him: “Why did you doubt?”


The disciples all were amazed and awed at this event. When Jesus got into their boat they did him homage and said: “Truly, you are the Son of God!”


Take a moment and become quiet and still. Then ask yourself: what is the “storm” in your life that you hope Jesus will calm? Or what is the healing that you would hope for if you could reach out and touch Jesus’ clothing?


True healing is a process and thus it typically takes time. True, there are miracles that happen instantly. However, they are rare. Can we trust that Jesus is healing us, even if we don’t experience an immediate change? In your heart, hold Jesus’ words: “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid!” Jesus will not fail us! However, we have to hold onto our belief and our trust in Jesus! May we have the grace to do so!

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