After he had fed the people, Jesus made the disciples get into a 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.
by Father Greg Friedman, OFM
This week’s Sunday readings have two stories about two Biblical characters whose qualities I’d like to possess. Let me explain.
In the first reading, we meet the Prophet Elijah. Pursued by the evil Queen Jezebel, he’s running for his life—but that’s not the quality I necessarily want to imitate. Rather, it’s when he stops running that he shows a remarkable perception.
When God invites Elijah to come out from his cave for a divine encounter, Elijah knows enough to pass up a mighty wind, an earthquake and a fire. I suspect I’d be looking for God in any or all of these powerful manifestations. But instead, the prophet hears a tiny whispering sound. It’s then that he hides his face in his cloak and goes to meet the Lord.
In the Gospel story, Peter along with his disciple buddies battle a storm on the lake. When they see a terrifying sight—Jesus walking on the water—Peter alone responds to Jesus with a courageous walk on the water himself. It’s that courage—and not Peter’s subsequent doubt, that I’d like to imitate.
The perception of the prophet to discern God in an unlikely place, and the courage of Peter to take a bold step to meet Jesus: Those are the qualities I’m praying for this Sunday. How about you?
by Father Dan Kroger, OFM
• In this week’s first reading (1Kgs 19:9a, 11-13), Elijah found Elisha. What was Elisha doing when Elijah found him? What did Elijah do to Elisha? What did Elisha then do?
• According to the second reading (Rom 9:1-5), what is the “great sorrow” that Paul has in his heart? Who are Paul’s kin?
• In the Gospel, what did Jesus tell the disciples to do just after he fed the 5,000 people? When did Jesus come to the disciples? This was a sort of thing that scared the disciples. What did Peter do?
by Susan Hines-Brigger
• Identify something that is challenging or frightening to you and see if you can successfully complete it.
• To simulate Peter’s attempt to walk on water, mark a straight line on the ground using either chalk or tape. See if you can walk on the line and not step off. Or try to find a beam you can walk on–maybe at the park.