Put Out into the Deep

A Tranquil Invitation

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

Last January, when I visited the Holy Land and stayed at the Neocatecumenal Center overlooking the Sea of Galilee, I had the unique occasion to witness a sudden storm which came seemingly out of nowhere and produced large waves on a normally tranquil lake. It truly looked like a sea at that time.

There is a Gospel scene which describes exactly what I experienced on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus’ disciples were in a boat a long way from shore, and going against the wind, tossed by the waves. They were not able to make it back to shore. But Jesus comes to them walking on the water and says, “Do not be afraid. I am Jesus. Do not be afraid.” And Peter, impetuous as he was, sees Jesus coming on the water and starts to walk on the water himself.

When he realized what he was doing, Peter starts to sink and cries, “Lord, save me!” And the Lord offered His hand and allows Peter to get back into the boat.

How frequently is this scene repeated in our own lives. We are surrounded by worries and anxieties. Although our faith is great and we try to confront these fears, there comes a moment when we seem to be sinking. Sometimes we forget to cry out to Jesus to save us and we wallow in our own anxiety, which only creates a longer distance between us and the Lord.

How can we deal with human anxieties and worries that are a part of everyday life? Truly, our prayer, and especially our meditation, allow us, with God’s help, to control the worries, fears and anxieties that beset us. There are some days when it seems impossible for us to get any kind of quiet time or a time to find solace.

Truly, it takes only five or 10 minutes, which all of us normally can find, to quiet ourselves and recognize God’s presence and know and take that outstretched hand of Jesus that is there to save us when we feel like we are sinking.

Summer is normally the time when we can relax a bit. Hopefully, our relaxation will give us the opportunity to deepen our relationship to God by prayer. Taking up the Bible and reading a passage, or some spiritual book, can give us the impetus that we need to deepen our relationship with God, which is our only defense against the worries, fears and anxieties that beset us.

As the disciples of Jesus put out into the deep when they were tossed to and fro by the waves, so it is with our lives. But it is still the Lord Jesus who comes walking on the water of our troubled lives and lifts us out of these cares and worries.

We pray that our summer time will be an opportunity for us to recognize that outstretched hand of Jesus.

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