>> Monday, August 4, 2008
First Reading: Jeremiah 28:1-17
Gospel: Matthew 14: 22-36
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." "Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God." When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed.
"You of little faith, why did you doubt?" Matthew 14:31
Today's reading reminded me of how fragile human beings can be and how weak our faith in God is. It is like we are declaring to the whole world that we believe in God but lack a faithful heart. When we are swamped with problems and can't seem to solve them, we would often wonder why we are suffering and ask, "Why me, Lord?" Little do we know that even if we face these problems, it is God who holds us up and encourages us to go on.
Way back in college, I volunteered for the Social Involvement Coordinating Office (SICO). Part of our service to the university community is to prepare various areas in the basic sector for student exposure. Most of the communities that we go to are new to us, remote and almost inaccessible. Everytime we conduct a site investigation and make an area profile, there is always that fear of the unknown. I always get nervous and have tons of what-if questions going on in my mind. Questions such as "what is they won't receive us?, what if there are rebels in the area and would suspect us for government spies?, what if the people in the area were unfriendly?, what if we got stranded on the way?, what if..." But whenever we go to these areas, we find ourselves welcomed as if we were long lost relatives. Even though we are strangers, we find these communities welcoming and trusting us. And I would be ashamed of myself for ever thinking bad thoughts and for having doubts about the community. Truly, God has protected me and my companions in all those countless area preparations and exposures.
Looking back into those days, I am reassured that I will always be safe and in good hands with God. Should there come a time in my life when fear sets in, I will never lose my faith knowing that God will constantly guide and protect me. It is our daily pray that He will continue to protect us from any harm, evil and sickness. This, and the trust and faith in the Lord, will get us through the day. There is no need to fear because with God, we are in good hands.
How about you? What are your fears that lead you to doubt God?