18th Week in Ordinary Time, Tuesday, Year II

Today’s readings remind us that the theological virtues are a gift from God that are meant to grow as we grow, bolstered by grace and our effort. Just like a muscle, resistance is required in order to strengthen and grow. In today’s First Reading the Lord is telling the Israelites of Judah that without the Lord’s help their situation is terminal: their sins are self-inflicted terminal wounds. On their own there is no remedy and no hope. The Lord is inviting them to regain hope in him again in order to be restored to peace and security.

In today’s Gospel the disciples have seen a sea of miracles: Our Lord has multiplied the loaves and fishes, healed the multitudes, and brought many back to our Heavenly Father. Now he walks on water. Peter takes it as an invitation to test the strength of his faith. He’s unsure, but Our Lord encourages him to try. A fisherman like him would never have imagined stepping out of a boat onto sea just like stepping onto a dock. He manages to take a few steps, but his faith is not strong enough yet to stay walking amid miracles. Despite this, he has formed a faith instinct to ask Our Lord for help when his faith doesn’t keep him afloat.

Impossible and hopeless situations are only impossible and hopeless when we lack faith and trust in Our Lord. The history of Church is a history of miracles too, whether miracles that help us walk on water or just stay afloat. The people in today’s Gospel received grace and healing by touching a tassel of Our Lord’s cloak; we touch Our Lord whenever we receive him in Holy Communion. Let’s believe and trust so that he can work miracles in our lives and in the lives of those he loves.

Readings: Jeremiah 30:1–2, 12–15, 18–22; Psalm 102:16–23, 29; Matthew 14:22–36. See also Wednesday after Epiphany and 18th Week in Ordinary Time, Tuesday.