Stepping Out in Faith: Courage on the Waters of Galilee

Catholic and Diverse
Stepping Out in Faith: Courage on the Waters of Galilee

Stepping Out in Faith: Courage on the Waters of Galilee

Written By: Dr. Alice Prince

I have the privilege of sharing moments of spiritual reflection with my Spiritual Director, Brother Brian, a devoted Brother from the Marist of Champagnat. He posed a question that led me deep into the waters of self-reflection: " Which passage from the Bible about the Sea of Galilee resonates most with you?" Without hesitation, I thought of the moment when Peter walked on water.

"Peter replied, 'Lord, if it's you, 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. 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?'" - Matthew 14:28-31

This scripture from Matthew 14 holds a special place in my heart, even more so when considering it's set against the backdrop of the tragedy where John the Baptist is beheaded—a stark contrast of despair and hope. It's fascinating how some passages like the beheading of John go unnoticed in sermons, yet the profound message of faith and courage when Peter walks on water echoes across many pulpits.

To me, it's not just about Peter wanting to be close to Jesus during the storm; it's also a testament to human faith. Even as the waves raged and the winds threatened, Peter, driven by his love and faith, steps out into the unknown. Yes, he falters, and fear overtakes him for a moment. Some interpretations suggest he lost focus on Jesus, leading to his sinking. Regardless, Jesus was there, ready to lift him up, highlighting the imperfections of our faith but also the boundless love and mercy of Christ.

Brother Brian's invitation to revisit this scripture unearthed a new revelation for me: the immense courage it took for Peter to step out of that boat. The very definition of courage is to show strength in the face of pain, fear, or uncertainty. Our Catholic faith continually challenges us not to remain mere spectators in the boat but to step out, to embrace the storms of life with unwavering faith.

For when the way seems foggy, when the storms of life threaten to throw us off course, let's remember Peter's courage and Jesus's unyielding presence. Let's not let fear dictate our path. Today, I pause, reflect, and question: Where is God beckoning me to show courage?

May we all find the strength to walk on water, to face the tempests of life, drawing courage from the unwavering love of Jesus. Remember, in the midst of our trials and doubts, Christ whispers, "'Take courage; it is I. Do not be afraid.'" - Matthew 14:27

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