Row the Boat

Challenge: Today, when you feel like giving up, make an extra effort to be resilient.
by Father Jason Wallace, LC | Source:

August 4, 2008
Saint John Mary Vianney. Memorial

Matthew 14: 22-36
Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, "Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid." Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?" When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God." When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret. After the people of that place recognized him, they sent word throughout the region and brought all who were sick to him, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.

Introductory Prayer: Lord, teach me to believe even when I do not see everything clearly. Help me to hope even when the waves of destruction crash upon me. Inspire me to stay firm in my love even when my passions are trying to tug me away.

Peition: Lord, please give me the grace to endure.

1. Going up the Mountain As a teenager, on a camping trip with my parish youth group, we went high into the Rocky Mountains. As the evening fell, our priest invited us to pray a rosary around the campfire we had built. Moments of prayer are what keep us going and on track after a long day. Although our whole being cries out for rest, we know there is nothing more rewarding than spending a few moments of silent prayer talking to our Lord, lifting our hearts to him, and recalling the wonders he has done for us. Let us, like Christ, go up the mountain every night to spend quality time with our Father.

2. Peter on the Water, Peter in the Water The wind is a symbol of our passions.  They come on strong, let up for awhile, and then blast us again. We have to be resilient to keep going. Peter was resilient: He walked on the water. He believed, but like all of us, he, too, began to question what was going on. We have to stay strong in our faith, knowing our Lord wants us to demonstrate our love.  Every day, as we are battered by the winds of our passions, he gives us the opportunity to stay strong. Will I be able to keep my focus even when all else around me go astray?

3. Row the Boat  In working with the Lord there is a time for intimate prayer, as we saw in the first point, but there is also a time for action. Christians are contemplative and conquering. We know how to pray and converse with our Lord as the best of friends, but we also know that true friendship is revealed in the works or deeds we do. Sometimes we have to buckle down and row the boat. Life is tough, the world presents us challenges every day, and we all have our weaknesses, but we can’t sit back to be thrown upon the rocks of destruction. We have to row the boat.

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, thank you for teaching me there is a time to pray and a time to put our prayer into action. In this way our actions turn into prayers. Guide me to live as I pray, so that by my example people will see you.

Resolution: Today, when I feel like giving up, I will make an extra effort to be resilient.

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