2nd August

peter_walking_on_water

“Courage, it is I, do not be afraid.”

Had a chemotherapy clinic today in Letterkenny. All went well, blood results are doing fine.

The gospel of the day (Matt 14:22-36) is Jesus walking on the water and Peter sinking when he tries it (see below). The big lesson is that Peter can actually walk on the water as long as he keeps his attention on Jesus. As soon as he takes his eyes off Jesus, he starts to sink.

This is a related reflection from Premier Christian Media and Dr Micha Jazz. Even though it about Martha and Mary, its central message is about keeping our life’s focus on Jesus.

How easily are you distracted? I am great at pursuing grand designs, such as my PhD, but I get easily distracted along the way. By distraction I mean getting drawn into something that prevents me from concentrating on what I have chosen to do. So even with my PhD I was drawn into pursuing various lines of thought that captured my imagination as I gathered material for my thesis. These many paths offered no help to my thesis, but were interesting and gave the appearance of studying for my degree.

Now, distractions offer pleasant diversions from the main event. Yet the true meaning of ‘distraction’ is far more violent than simply that the common sense of distraction. It means to pull or tear apart. This is the problem Martha faces. Her hospitality is wonderful, and her attention to detail in her many tasks, essential. Yet, here they remove her from the immediate presence of God.

Each one of us needs a clear identity. For many, this comes from the work they do. It’s one of the first questions we ask of each other at a social gathering. Many of us place much confidence in our vocation as a description of who we are. We even see our value arising from the work we do, the title we’ve been given. However, God says that these are all distractions. Not that the work is unnecessary, nor that it’s wrong, but that our primary responsibility is in developing a relationship with him. After all, all that we do and achieve here on earth, however noble, will reach a conclusion. Yet, our friendship with God alone survives our death and continues throughout eternity.

The danger Martha faces, one we all confront, is the degree to which our good works, our worthy work, comes between us and our friendship with God. It’s never the quality of the hospitality we offer God, or the tidiness of our house that counts. It’s the love we express towards God

QUESTION: Are you finding excuses for not spending time sitting at Jesus’ feet?

PRAYER: Lord, it is better to spend one day in your house than 1,000 elsewhere. Help me to love and live in your presence.

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After spending time with the above reflection, you can see a video of happenings at our recent SOLT assembly by visiting this link: https://youtu.be/8TP5UM1tdqM

Gospel of the Day:

When the crowds had eaten their fill Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he would send the crowds away. After sending the crowds away he went up into the hills by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, while the boat, by now far out on the lake, was battling with a heavy sea, for there was a head-wind. In the fourth watch of the night he went towards them, walking on the lake, and when the disciples saw him walking on the lake they were terrified. ‘It is a ghost’ they said, and cried out in fear. But at once Jesus called out to them, saying, ‘Courage! It is I! Do not be afraid.’ lt was Peter who answered. ‘Lord,’ he said ‘if it is you, tell me to come to you across the water.’ ‘Come’ said Jesus. Then Peter got out of the boat and started walking towards Jesus across the water, but as soon as he felt the force of the wind, he took fright and began to sink. ‘Lord! Save me!’ he cried. Jesus put out his hand at once and held him. ‘Man of little faith,’ he said ‘why did you doubt?’ And as they got into the boat the wind dropped. The men in the boat bowed down before him and said, ‘Truly, you are the Son of God.’

Having made the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret. When the local people recognised him they spread the news through the whole neighbourhood and took all that were sick to him, begging him just to let them touch the fringe of his cloak. And all those who touched it were completely cured.

 

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