It is the 4th hour of the night … maybe around 4:30 or 5 a.m. The sun is just beginning to peek over the horizon. Earlier, Jesus had shepherded his disciples into a boat and pushed them off deeper into the lake. Jesus himself headed toward one his favorite places for solitude with his Father … up into the hillside, the mountain – by himself.
Out on the lake, until a few minutes ago, everyone in the boat was asleep or in that twilight state between sleep and alertness. That brief moment when you’re not quite sure if you’re awake or still dreaming. Suddenly the rocking of the boat shook them all awake. Waves came crashing upon them. Gasping for air they shouted to each other: “Where’s Jesus?” Almost before they could finish the question, they saw him, coming toward them – not swimming – walking on the sea. Was that really what they were seeing? Was it a ghost? Jesus spoke to quiet their beating hearts: “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid.”
Impulsive Peter, spoke up: “If that is really you, Lord, command me to come to you on the water.”
You know what Jesus said, maybe gesturing with his hand: “Come.”
Why did Jesus not go to Peter; why did he beckon Peter to “Come over the water?”
There’s a lesson here for us. We can’t sit, as they say “on our laurels” … in our boat and do nothing. When the storms of life are blowing all around us, Jesus says: “COME.” Like a parent coaxing an infant to take a first step. “You,” He says, “Come apart and rest in Me. I am always within reach. Grab that raft or inner tube and get those arms and legs moving – ROW … pray, yes, but don’t forget to row. Take your time if you need to … take a few breaths .. don’t worry about calming the storm – I’ll take care of that. You just calm yourself – look around. You will spot me in the mist, beckoning you: “COME!”
~ Reflection by Sister Roberta Bailey, OSB, Prioress