A HOMILY FOR THE NINETEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME- CYCLE ”A” – 8/10/14 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and Goodness to you this day!
Sometimes one step is much, much bigger than just a step. Sometimes one step is the start of something big. Sometimes, one small step can be a leap forward. Probably the first thing to come to mind for many of us is Neil Armstrong’s first step onto the moon. “One small step for man, one giant leap forward for mankind.” Can’t you just imagine what it must have been like to step off that ladder on the leg of the lunar module, and to step onto the surface of the moon, where no man had ever been before. Or I also think of that first step out of an airplane when you’re skydiving. One moment you have the metal floor of the plane underneath you, and in just one step, you’re falling through the air. What a step! And then I think that one of the most amazing steps in the history of mankind were the steps over that line at the Vatican, that separates the Vatican City State from Rome. It is so unbelievable to stand at that line today, and to realize that seventy years ago, Jewish people and others who opposed the Nazis took steps while being shot at, to cross that line and to seek sanctuary in the Vatican. Sometimes that one, single step can save your life. And sometimes that one, single step can save your soul!
I love this Gospel reading. Today Peter takes the biggest step of his life. We just heard the story. But let’s go over it once again. The disciples are crossing the sea after the feeding of the five thousand. A terrible storm comes up. Now, remember, most of these guys were fishermen. They had seen some pretty terrible storms. So for this one to terrify them so, it must have been one BIG storm. There’s wind, and rain, and big waves. Sounds like a George Clooney movie. And in the middle of this life-threatening chaos, Jesus comes out to them walking on the water. And He does it very matter-of-factly, like He’s out for a little late night stroll. Peter sees this. He doesn’t believe it, but he sees it. And so he says, “If it is REALLY you, Lord, command me to come to you on the water.” Can you imagine what must have been going through Peter’s mind at that time? But at some point, and in some way, Peter steps up on the side of that boat, and then steps down onto the water, and he is doing it. He is walking on the water. He is defying logic, and gravity, and everything we know about how things work. And he walks on the water with our Lord. Then, he starts thinking about it. He thinks too much. And he gets all wet.
How many times and in how many different ways all the time, does Jesus call us to take that one big step in Faith? I think it happens much more than most of us want to admit. God calls us, even today, to step out trusting that He is going to take care of us. Even in the storms of our lives, in the rough waters, in the middle of the wind and the lightening, even on those days when we’re not so sure how we are going to survive, God still wants to show us His power and His love. We need to trust and believe in that. And we can’t falter in our Faith like Peter did either. In so many ways this weekend, God is asking us to step out of the security of our boats, and to come out on the water with Him. It is not always going to make sense. Sometimes, like doesn’t make sense. But many, many times, what we think that we know, is not necessarily the whole truth or the whole story. God does know the whole story. God made it all, the water, the wind, and the storm. Nobody knows better how to turn a step out in Faith into a Leap of Faith for God! And God loves people who step out in Faith! Even if we do get wet, even if we do get in over our heads, even if He has got to come and pull us up and save us, God still loves and respects his followers who are trying. And sometimes our trying, means we’ve got to get out of the boat!
As Catholic Christians, we are called to courageously live out our Faith and with trust in God, to bring that Faith to others by evangelization. Sometimes, all it takes is one step. Sometimes it takes three or four or even more. But one thing is for sure, we’ve got to keep moving forward. And we can’t do that, by just sitting there. Let us take the steps that we need to, in Faith. And may we trust that our God will always take care of us!!!
+ May God bless us this day, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!