Jesus walks on the water of the Sea of Galilee and saves Peter from drowning. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Wisdom from the Holy Spirit so he can be guided in times of crisis and by building the Virtue of Self-control so he can mortify his physical and mental cravings.
18th Week in Ordinary time – Tuesday – Mt 14:22-36
After Feeding the 5000, dismissing the crowds and sending the Apostles in a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee, Jesus goes into the hills to pray as He originally intended to do when the day started. As with His formation of the Apostles by working through them in Feeding the 5000, Jesus continues to form the Apostles through a trial by storm.
A violent storm tosses the boat in an all-night ordeal that leaves the Apostles, some of whom are seasoned fishermen, beaten by the waves, many furlongs from the shore (1F=220 yards), and in great distress. Forgetting Jesus’ earlier calming of the storm (Mt 8:23-27), the Apostles scream out in fear when they see Jesus, believing Him to be a ghost; Jesus, in a preview of the Transfiguration, is supernaturally illuminated, visible among the dark violent waves. Jesus’ rebuke is mysteriously heard over the howl of the wind: “Take heart, it is I; have no fear.”
Peter momentarily forgets the night-long ordeal and asks to walk across the tumultuous waves to Jesus; Jesus beckons him, “Come.” Peter leaps out of the violently tossing boat, miraculously walking on the boiling waves until he is distracted by the howling winds, and momentarily takes his eyes off of Jesus; Peter sinks into the dark waters and cries out, begging, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately grabs Peter by the hand, and rebukes him: “O man of little faith, why did you doubt?” Jesus, with overpowering strength, lifts Peter from sinking into the depths and helps him into the boat. Jesus stills the wind and the disciples prostrate themselves in worship, proclaiming His Divinity.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be awed by the incredible Physical Strength and Stamina of Jesus: despite the emotionally-draining sorrow of the death of John the Baptist, Jesus travels hours in a boat on the rough Sea of Galilee to find a quiet place to pray and rest; confronted by a huge crowd, Jesus works all day, healing the multitude, and then feeding them; after praying all night until the early morning, Jesus walks miles over the tumultuous Sea of Galilee; when Peter sinks into the water, Jesus physically lifts Peter out of the water; see here for more on the awesome power of Jesus (CCC 449, 635, 649, 664, 668, 1441, 1503).
Seek God’s wisdom during times of crisis
Realize: When worldly “storms” are urgent and overwhelming, a man can attempt to rely solely on worldly help, instead of seeking God’s Divine intervention.
Believe: Reflect upon God the Almighty (CCC 268-278).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Wisdom so I experience Your Divine Presence when I am facing serious trials and suffering in my life, and I can clearly know how to do Your will as I face the crisis.
Mortify physical and mental cravings
Realize: After he gets out of the boat, Peter is distracted by the violent storm and begins to sink because he lacks the discipline to keep his eyes on Jesus; a Catholic man can become distracted by the world and sink into sin because he lacks the discipline to always keep his eyes on Jesus.
Believe: Reflect upon the importance of Mortification (CCC 1430, 1438, 2015, 2549).
Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Discipline, help me build the Virtue of Self-Control (a part of Temperance) so I have the self-discipline to maintain a regular habit of physical mortification (abstain from a food or alcohol, fasting, exercise and diet to maintain health) and mental mortification (refrain from news, media, gaming, politics) so I can more fully keep my eyes on You.