Reflection on reading of the day Aug 5 “Don’t hold onto the Mast”

Jesus made the disciples get into a boat
and precede him to the other side of the sea,
while he dismissed the crowds.
After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.
When it was evening he was there alone.
Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore,
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.
“It is a ghost,” they said, 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.
Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying,
“Truly, you are the Son of God.”

After making the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret.
When the men of that place recognized him,
they sent word to all the surrounding country.
People brought to him all those who were sick
and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak,
and as many as touched it were healed. (Mat 14:22-36)

Jesus went up to the mountain to pray. Going up to the mountain is an image of going to His Father. On top of the mountain he could see the disciples in the boat being tossed by the waves. Jesus is praying for them. The disciples are not alone Jesus is with them praying and watching over them. In the same way, Jesus is always with us interceding for us at the right hand of the Father.

When I was reflecting on this scripture. I could see an image of a stained glass window at a retreat house. The image in the window shows the disciples clinging to the mast of the boat during the storm. The mast of the boat is an image of all our self made security systems that we cling to when we are afraid.

When we are afraid Jesus is asking us to step out of our self made rules that give us the illusion of security. Jesus is asking us to let go and trust in Him.  It is alright if you sink because Jesus is there to stretch His Hand and lift you up.

Question of the day: When we are afraid are we more like the disciples who cling to everything that makes us feel safe, but cannot in themselves give us safety? Or are we like Peter who gets out of the boat and puts his trust in Jesus?

As the song says, “Put your hand in the hand of the man who calms the water. Put your hand in the hand of the man who calms the seas.”


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