The Young Man at the Tomb Holding Fast to Each Other Amen to What We Are The Lord, Our Justice Claiming Our True Name What We Expect The Comma Keeping the Demons Quiet The Dove in the Heavens Thankfulness and Generosity Speaking to Jesus A Promise to Simeon and Us A Sign for You The Voice in the Wilderness How Annunciations Work The Least, the Lost, and the Last Waiting for Christ’s Return Attire for the Kingdom The Cross in a Violent World Come to the Banquet Today Anointing of the Sick Finding the Eternal Change and Continuity Paying Attention The First and the Last Using Bad Consequences How to Talk to God Ready to Forgive Facing the Serpent Priority and Mutuality Three Meals a Day Searching for Pearls The Power of Service Why Walk on Water? The Day Jesus Was Wrong The Promise of the New Name The Two Feet of Love Facing the Hour Looking Backwards Touching the Leper Touching the Leper Misunderstanding God Doing It Poorly God’s Midwife A Name for the Holy Spirit The Coffin So We Do Not Have to Touch Being Better to Each Other Earthquakes and Galilee Lazarus as a Disciple Seeing More Learning from Peter Imitating God’s Holiness Weekly Bulletin 3/2/14 Imitating God’s Holiness Weekly Bulletin 3/9/14 Choosing a Master Goodness in Temptation A Pinch of Salt Teaching the Commandments The Freedom of the Baptist Christ’s Broken Body Faith Is More than Looking The Twelve Days of Christmas God’s Timing Resurrection and Transformation The Good That Is Gone Zacchaeus Moments God in the Smallest Things Trust and Community When God’s Commands Do Not Fit The Faith of Honeybees Choosing Hell Following the Dishonest Steward The Ninety-Nine The Freedom to Let Go Beyond Politics The Balance of Humility Not Fearing Fire The Beauty Remains To Welcome as a Samaritan A Moveable Peace Bring On the Women! The Two Sides of Bread Waiting for the Ticket The Groove of the Spirit Jesus Is Not Like Congress A Divine Partnership What Kind of Love Is This? Boston Bombings and God Fishing and Forgiveness A New Kind of Joy Letting Christ Out The Sign of Inversion Our Doodling God A Parable of Love and Jealousy Not Enough Time The Ordinary and the Transcendent The Battle with the Devil God Is Not Kidding The Power of Love We Are the Body of Christ The Arc of Life Waiting for the Final Gift Displacement at Christmas Incarnating God Presenting the Mess Red Cake and Lima Beans A Call to Serve Beyond Asking Jesus’ Commandment Being Ready to Take God in the Foxhole God Is Still Working Adjusting What Is Necessary Learning from the Prophet Amos About Jesus’ Brothers The Most Popular Miracle The Importance of Hunger Eternal Life Influencing Others Finding the Right Proportion Do What You Love Stopping for the Least To Love Irritating People Marriage, Divorce, and Children Asking for More Drinking the Cup Terror in Paris God Will Come Boundaries, Security, and Generosity Feeling Movements of Life A Place to Learn God Uses Small Things Signs of Life When God Says No Christian Optimism From Transition to Call The Long Struggle The Gate of Heaven Common Sense or Hope The Spoiled Son An Oasis for Everyone Jesus’ Last Meal The Curious Omission Finding a Pony Anointing of the Sick A New Commandment After the Ascension Sin and Love The Cross and Joy The Call to Follow A Call for Humility Violence in America Two Thoughts on Prayer Live Today with Thanksgiving An Examined Life The Narrow Gate Serving Ourselves Losing Sheep Using Dishonest Wealth The Door and the Chasm Faith and Duty Distance and More Not Growing Weary Making a Difference Inadequacies and Grace Finding God Facing Turmoil Jesus, Remember Me The Lion and the Lamb Wild Like John Let Go in Love A Wider Christmas The Last Six Miles God’s Big Plan The Remnant The Salt of the Earth Beyond the Ten Commandments Love Your Enemy Focusing Our Worry How Evil Works Our Transfiguration Re-membering Our Lives Our Story If Only The Time for Hope A Second Greeting of Peace The Eucharist and Welcoming Practicing Non-Violence The Work of Forgiveness Why Are You Looking Up at the Sky? The Mystery of Salvation Being Thankful How Is a Burden Light? The Problem with Sparrows Eternal Creation Patient Vigilance Buried Treasure Thinking Again Where You Do Not Want to Go The Courage to Speak Humility and Truth Do Something Good Knowing the Song Acting Against Evil God Will Come What We Can Say Senseless Violence Invitation as a Threat What Belongs to God Two Commands, Side by Side Burdens We May Not See Foolish or Wise Accepting the Consequences Serving the Least Watching for Jesus Camels and Gnats Becoming Smaller The Christmas Barber The Ring of the Kings The Freedom and Faith of John the Baptist Zebedee The Opioid Crisis Approaching, Grasping, Lifting Up What God Intends The Battle with Satan Following Elijah and Moses Standing in Truth A God of Love or Condemnation When Life Turns Not Fully Prepared The Wounds We Carry Selling Onions Son of Encouragement To Love as God Loves Engagement with the World Doubting Disciples Sabbath Avoiding the Diabolical Persistent Hope Speaking the Word Within Us “And Also With You” Capital Punishment I Will Go On Three Wise Choices Will You Also Leave? Show No Partiality Carrying the Cross for Whom? Outside the Lines The Camel and the Needle Ask First for Sight What God Sees Only God The Arc of the Universe Turmoil, Fear, and Dismay The Gift of the Desert A Punch for the Holidays Politics and Religion Jesus Always Understands One Body God’s Love The Call Blessings and Woes Imitating God’s Mercy The Blind Leading the Blind The Devil’s Agenda Looking Closer, Looking Beyond Accepting God’s Love Mob Thinking The Easter Egg Fishing with Uncle Mike Loving Like Jesus God’s in Love with This World

Where You Do Not Want to Go

August 13, 2017 Click on the left end of the black bar to play/pause

August 13, 2017
Matthew 14:22-33
Fr. George Smiga

God is good, and God loves us, and God intends to save us. Because of all of these positive truths, it is easy to imagine that our relationship to Jesus is one of comfort. We like to picture Jesus as the one who blesses the little children, feeds his sheep, and displays glory on the Mount of Transfiguration. Although all these descriptions of Jesus are accurate, they are not the whole picture. This is what makes today’s gospel important, because it shows us that following Jesus is not only comforting. Sometimes it is terrifying.

In the story, Jesus commands Peter to get out of the boat and walk to him on the water. Now, walking on the water is not where you want to be. Who wants to be moving with hundreds of feet of cold, dark water below you and waves crashing on every side? But Jesus asks Peter to get out of the boat to make it clear to us that following him is not always a joyful journey. Sometimes, it is walking where you really do not want to go.

We all know the importance of family. But difficulties can arise in our family. A person can become hurt, dysfunctional, or bitter. We say to the Lord, “I do not want to deal with this every time the family comes together. My heart is broken over it, and I don’t see any easy way out.” Jesus says to us, “I know that it is discouraging and frightening, but I need you to walk to me through the storm.”

We begin to worry about a spouse or a parent as we all grow older. Then there is a fall or a stroke, and we realize that we have just become a caregiver. We say to Jesus, “I’m not ready for this. My plate is already full. I don’t know how I will be able to pull this off.” Jesus says, “I know it’s difficult. You will have to leave some things behind. But I need you to trust and to come to me.”

Whenever we experience a shock in our life, from a friend who betrays us, from a loved one who dies, we say to Jesus, “I can’t get over this. I’ve lost the joy of living. I don’t see any hope.” Jesus says, “I know how frightened you are. I know that it seems impossible. But what I need you to do now is step out of the boat.”

When Jesus asks us to go where we really do not want to go, he does not make us any easy promises. He does not assure us that our way will be simple or that we will never falter. Peter would be the first to testify that sinking is a part of the journey. When Jesus asks us to find our footing on the waves, the only assurance he gives us is that we will not have to find our way alone. The challenge of discipleship is to believe that his word and his presence will be enough for us.

Jesus is always with us. That should give us strength and comfort, as long as we remember that following him is not just walking on land. Sometimes, it is walking on water.

Change this in Theme Options
Change this in Theme Options