Points to Ponder

Weekly thoughts on the Sunday Gospel, readings or a topic...


seeing your life through the lens of the gospels
– Matthew 14:22-33

1. The story illustrates the power of faith. Have you noticed that when you believe in someone, or something, you can do things that would not be possible when you are full of doubts? Recall moments when your faith gave you strength and courage. Name for yourself the different kinds of faith that had this effect: belief in yourself, trust in another, faith in God.
2. When Jesus got into the boat the winds ceased. Who has been a Jesus person for you and helped to calm a storm that frightened you or made you anxious?
3. The experience of Peter gives encouragement to us when we waver in our trust and belief in God. In his doubt and fear Jesus reached out to him. Who has reached out a helping hand to you when you felt you were sinking?
4. The story ends with a profession of faith in Jesus as the Son of God. Have you had experiences of being rescued from some hazard or danger, experiences which deepened your faith in the presence and compassion of God?  – John Byrne, OSA

The Deep End
Have you ever used the expression ‘My heart sank’? It is usually used to describe an experience of extreme disappointment or anxiety; a moment when our courage or hope fails and we feel that things are about to turn out very badly indeed. We might be going along just fine, confidently navigating life’s twists and turns, when something knocks us off balance. It could be an illness, a financial blow, falling out with a family member or friend, worry about a son or daughter. Especially when we lose someone close to us, grief can make us feel as though we are sinking.
What strikes me about today’s gospel is that Peter doesn’t hesitate about taking that first step out of the boat. Once he sees who is calling him, out he gets and begins to walk towards Jesus. But then, as soon as he feels the force of the wind, as soon as he realises that the conditions around him are challenging and frightening, he loses courage and starts to sink.
Wind and storm are metaphors for situations we face. Sometimes it is a single thing that knocks us back. Sometimes it is a build-up. A few months ago, at the early stages of ‘lockdown,’ we thought it wouldn’t be so bad to take a break and stay at home for a few weeks. But as the weeks turned into months, many people were overwhelmed by increasing feelings of loneliness, fears for health and anxiety about the future. It can feel like sinking.
The good news of today’s gospel centres around the line, ‘Jesus put out his hand at once and held him.’ As soon as Peter starts to falter and sink, Jesus reaches out to steady him and pull him to himself. When we are in trouble, sometimes all we can do is trust in God. When our faith and hope are shaken, and we are sinking, he will reach out and hold us close. 
– Tríona Doherty

(from Intercom)


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Today’s Mass Readings .
Dear Guardian Angel, go for me to the church, there kneel down at Mass for me. At the Offertory, take me to God and offer Him my service: What I am, what I have, offer as my gift. At the Consecration, with your seraphic strength, adore my Saviour truly present, praying for those who have loved me, for those who have offended me, and for those now deceased, that the blood of Jesus may purify them all. During Holy Communion bring me the Body and Blood of Jesus uniting Him with me in spirit, so that my heart may become His dwelling place. Plead with Him, that through His sacrifice all people throughout the world may be saved. When the Mass ends, bring home to me and to every home, the Lord’s blessing. Amen.
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