The Gospel Today
Dedication of the Basilicas of Sts. Peter & Paul, Apostles
Then he made the disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds.
After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone.
Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them, walking on the sea.
When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. “It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear.
At once [Jesus] spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Peter said to him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
He said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.
But when he saw how [strong] the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
After they got into the boat, the wind died down.
Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying, “Truly, you are the Son of God.”
Reflection (Sem. Maximilian B. Estayo)
Matt Fradd, a Catholic inspirational speaker and author from South Carolina, made his first appearance in Manila speaking before students of San Carlos Seminary on November 6 about pornography.
I remember him for reminding us seminarians that we each should have a trusted person we can tell our sins to, especially whenever we keep falling on the same sin. This, he said, is a good help to get rid of any addiction such as pornography and other habitual sins. His advice was nothing new, but just then I recalled that the day before, I ‘accidentally’ confessed to my current spiritual director. Accidentally, because I misheard his name and entered the confession room expecting to see another priest but lo and behold, there he was. I just confessed to him a month ago, on the same sin! (Luckily, it is not about pornography).
Now, it makes sense for me to follow Matt’s advice, since I have been brought to it inadvertently. And reading today’s Gospel, where we find Peter frantically calling to Jesus for help after his focus slipped and he began flipping in the water, there is really a good reason to have a confidant.
Peter had always been weak, yet Jesus trusted and loved him as His disciple. Peter, for his part, was all aware of it. But he bared his soul to his master. He knew that the challenges Jesus posed on him, such as walking on water, were beyond him yet he tried. And each time he fell, he called on the Lord.
It’s a beautiful master-disciple relationship that I can imitate. I am not Peter but I have the same need to be guided by someone who will not judge me for my weaknesses but hold me and lift me up whenever I fall.