Fr. Awoke’s homily for August 08, Tuesday of the 18th week of Ordinary time

(The readings for this mass may be found here)

 Mt 14 22-36

Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid.

Jesus speaks this to his disciples who cry out in fear, thinking that they are seeing a ghost. Their ride has been frightening because of the waves and the wind battering their boat. Then they see something strange in the dark. For the Jews, the dangers at sea are caused not only by bad weather but also demonic powers.

To allay their fears, Jesus calls out to make his voice heard and identify himself, “It is I.” He their master is trying to catch up with them after having stayed behind for prayer a day of preaching. The disciples should be happy, for he is with them now. They are not alone in their struggle against the forces of nature.

Peter asks to go to Jesus on the water. Jesus says yes and Peter steps out of the boat. For a while, he walks on the water toward Jesus. When he sees how strong the wind is, however, Peter gets scared and begins to sink. He cries for help to Jesus who stretches out his hand to catch his, because Peter’s faith is not still strong enough to focus on his master and instead he gives way to his fears of the stormy sea. And Jesus rebukes Peter for his little “O man of little faith” Jesus tells him, “why did you doubt me?” and Jesus, even if Peter has no strong faith, Jesus encourages him.