Focusing the Gospel
Key words and phrases: He came toward them walking on the sea, Come, walk on the water toward Jesus, saw how strong the wind was, beginning to sink
To the point: The unfolding series of events in this Gospel brings into sharp contrast divine action and human response, divine trustworthiness and human doubt, divine power and human weakness. When these contrasts clash, those who give themselves over to divine action are saved; those who rely on their own human response face death. This clash is evident within Peter: when he looks to Jesus and trusts him, he walks on water; when he looks away from Jesus to the frightening wind and waves, he begins to sink. All Jesus' disciples must contend with this inevitable clash. We all must choose where to look. Where we choose to look is a matter of Life or death.
Connecting the Gospel …
… to the First Reading: While God's power is manifested in acts of nature (First Reading: wind, earthquake, fire), Elijah recognizes God's Presence in the “tiny whispering sound.” In the Gospel, the power and Presence of God are fully revealed in the person of Jesus (“Son of God”).
… to experience: People often discover God in nature: the grandeur of the Grand Canyon, the vastness of the oceans, the delicacy of a rose. But our Christian faith invites us to recognize an even greater Presence of God in the person of Jesus, and our discipleship urges us to look to him for power, invitation, and salvation.