Three of the gospel writers, Matthew, Mark and John, give us an account of Jesus walking on the waters. It is an extraordinary miracle, which seems to be a manifestation of the power of Jesus. The Old Testament reading chosen to accompany this gospel is the revelation of God to Elijah in the ‘sound of a gentle breeze’, the ‘still, small voice’. The evangelists place the story of the walking on the water directly after the multiplication of the loaves. Just as the loaves miracle reminds us of the provision of manna in the desert, the walking on the sea recalls God’s power over the sea at the Exodus.
Matthew’s account of the miracle has two special features. When he attempts to walk on the water, Peter is overcome with doubt and is upheld by Jesus. The gospel in which Peter is entrusted with authority also testifies to his vulnerability. In Matthew’s version too the story ends with a declaration of faith by the disciples. While in Mark’s version they remain confused and questioning, here they declare Jesus to be ‘the Son of God’. Matthew is surely indicating how Christians should understand this story.
In the reading from St Paul’s Letter to the Romans Paul begins to speak about the situation of his Jewish brothers and sisters. He is profoundly grieved that they have not recognised Jesus as the promised Messiah. In the following sections of the letter Paul will explore and explain what God’s intentions are in relation to the chosen people.
How do I react when my faith is tested by the storms of life?
Do I trust in the helping hand of the Lord when things are difficult?
We pray for confidence and serenity amid the trials of life.
We pray for the Jewish people that they may remain faithful to God’s covenant.