From Crossings to Crosses

Matthew 14: 22-36
Jer 30:1-2,12-15,18-22 / Ps 102

“You of little faith,” He said, “why did you doubt?”
(Matthew 14:31)

Whenever storms may come my way,
Or when I cross thru paths unknown,
To bear my cross I need but pray
To God, and I’m not left alone.

Jesus made the disciples get into a boat to go ahead of Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowd. Then He went up on a mountainside alone to pray. When evening came, the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw Him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Peter said, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” He said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” He said, “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to Him begging Him to let the sick just touch the edge of His cloak, and all who touched Him were healed. (Matthew 14:22-36)

Reflection

There are many crossings in life that we are sent to make, and the major ones are usually not without opposing currents and going against turbulent winds. In the earliest history of the Jewish nation, we see the examples of many great leaders who obeyed the command of God to “cross over” to new territories. The first was Noah, the boat builder, who started a new generation after the great flood. Then followed the patriarch Abraham, who set out from Haran to the land of Canaan. His grandson Jacob travelled back to Haran to flee from his brother Esau, married Rachel, and grew prosperous there. From him sprung the twelve tribes of Israel. His favorite son Joseph made the most painful crossing to Egypt, sold to slavery by his own brothers, only to become the most powerful governor of Egypt and savior of the whole tribe of Israel. Then from the tribe of Levi came Moses, who led the Israelite nation from the slavery of Egypt to the Promised Land. An opportunity may come upon us when we are asked to leave our comfort zone and travel to a new land or a new life unknown.

Then again there may be crosses in life that we are made to bear. These can be in the form of harassments from the devil, who tries to subvert God’s will in our lives. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephes 6:12) Satan’s grand scheme is to get us too focused on our problems and anxieties that we no longer have time to pray, which is the most effective weapon against fear. Prayer gives us the assurance that we have the strength to overcome anything through Jesus Who empowers us (Phil.4:13). Prayer works for those who firmly believe and submit to God’s will. Submitting to His will means trusting that whatever comes is according to His love and divine purpose. The situation only becomes difficult when doubts arise to erode our faith and trust in Him. As long as we hold fast to a strong trust in the Lord, no harm can befall us; the cross will become lighter, the storm will eventually pass. And when we reach calm waters, we will realize that we have become stronger because of it.

We put our trust in Your strong arm, Lord, as we firmly believe You will never allow us to sink in any storm because we are your faithful fishers of men. Amen.

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