(“Lord Save Me!” “Why Did You Doubt?” [Matthew 14:30-31])
This past weekend has been a field day for Catholics who seek to undermine trust in this Pope. With some ambiguous comments made during a press conference, his detractors seem determined to discredit his orthodoxy. It’s no doubt disturbing the faith of many. When people are coming out claiming that the Pope “taught” error on contraception or accusing him of supporting open borders across the US, the Catholic seeking to offer obedience to him are feeling beset on every side.
Doing the Office of Readings as I drove to work this morning, I felt a reminder of a different story of Peter than the ones covered. This one involves Matthew 14:22-33 and Jesus walking on water:
22 Then he made the disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone. 24 Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. 25 During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them, walking on the sea. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. “It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear. 27 At once [Jesus] spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” 28 Peter said to him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw how [strong] the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 After they got into the boat, the wind died down. 33 k Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying, “Truly, you are the Son of God.”
In this time when the devil seeks to use an avalanche of internet information to beset the Church and confuse the faithful, we may feel like we are sinking. In such a case, let us emulate St. Peter and say, “Lord, save me!"
Like the Apostles, we may be tempted to doubt and fear (notice that the other apostles never got out of the boat). But when we are buffeted by fear and accusations about the Church that leave us confused, let us keep our eyes on Christ, walking to Him and trusting He will not let us drown. And if we can trust Him to do that, perhaps we can trust Him to keep the Barque of Peter afloat and rescue the successor of Peter from sinking.