Monday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time
The logic of the miracle
Then he made the disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds … he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone. Meanwhile the boat … was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified … and they cried out in fear. At once (Jesus) spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter said to him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how (strong) the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” After they got into the boat, the wind died down … Mt 14,22-36
The contrary winds, both on the lake as well in the life, blow and always they have blown being threatening. What allows Jesus to walk quiet on those troubled waters and over the adversities in which people normally get scared and get lost? We know one only answer: the faith and the prayer. When the wind starts to blow he stays “up there alone” to pray, while the apostles are hard rowing, on the boat, to reach the opposite shore of the lake. At a certain point Jesus descends from the mountain and comes to meet them by walking on the waters. Like the all of us, also Peter would like to be able to walk on those waters, which represent the negative situations of the life: “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water”. Jesus says to him: “Come” and Peter descends on the lake, but because of the violence of the wind he gets scared and starts to sink. Why Peter, unlike of Jesus, is afraid of the wind while also living the experience of walking on the waters? It depends on the fact that his walk on the waters comes from the request for a sign, not from the habit of the prayer. We too had to face some similar experience. Thirty years ago, Maria Carmela was operated of a terrible cancer and Professor Nicholas, who did the operation, removed to us every hope of recovery, forecasting for her only few months of life. We, in desperation, referred completely to the prayer. The years elapsed, Maria Carmela has healed, she lives a normal life, she married and she had two daughters, but that our faith of that moment did not result in an habit to the prayer, such that to radically change the way we live. So it happened to us, like Peter, to go in crisis for some small wind, which then returned to blow in our lives. Probably we must rediscover the value of this prayer in the morning, to continue our peaceful journey up to the other side.