“Don’t look down!” is good advice we can give to those people who have a fear of heights. And in a sense, this is also the advice that Jesus gave to Peter in today’s gospel.
As we heard, Peter and his friends found themselves in the midst of a storm. The wind was howling, the waves were pounding, and their little boat was being dangerously tossed about.
And then, from seemingly out of nowhere, Jesus appeared. He didn’t immediately calm the storm, as he sometimes does. Instead, he came to his friends in the midst of the storm, in order to test them, and to help them learn about faith.
While he walked on the water, Jesus invited Peter to come to him, and what happened next is very instructive for us. As long as Peter kept his eyes focused on Jesus, the wind and the waves didn’t consume him. Instead, he was able to rise above them! It was only when he took his eyes off Jesus that he began to sink, and was filled with fear.
When you and I find ourselves being tossed about by the storms of life, we can take a cue from Peter. As long as we keep our eyes on Jesus, as long as we try our best to stay close to him in faith and trust, we can be assured that we won’t drown, that we won’t sink into despair, and that we won’t be paralyzed by fear. Because we will hear Jesus say to us, as he said to Peter: “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Readings for today's Mass: http://www.usccb.org/nab/080211.shtml