Their tiny boat is tossed about and nearly swamped, and the disciples fear for their lives. Jesus arrives on the scene and calmly “walks on the water,” towards the boat -- a figure of serenity in the midst of chaos.
But the disciples, in the grip of fear, are unable to accept the serenity he brings to the chaos swirling around them, threating their very lives. What is so interesting is that Jesus invites Peter to venture into the tumultuous waters and meets him in the midst of the storm.
This point is, I believe, very important for us today: that Jesus comes in the midst of the storm and reaches out to us, not after the storm has been calmed. And even though we may doubt, as Peter did, Jesus still extends his hand to raise us up, to assure us that indeed it is he!
Today we may need this Gospel message more than ever with the sickening number of armed military actions, military coups and outright wars swirling all around us.
Having just remembered the awful bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan, and the tremendous human loss and suffering they brought about, still some world leaders threaten to unleash “fire and fury” with the specter of the use of nuclear weapons. It seems we have learned nothing!
Clearly the horrid storm of wars and violence are not the answers to the troubles our world faces. Let us pray, listening for that “still small voice of God” within us, calling us all to work for peace and reconciliation, in our own lives, in our communities, in our nation and in our world. May the SHALOM of God be upon us all!