Sunday, August 10, 2014


Today's Gospel from Saint Matthew narrates a true experience of Jesus as the living God, an encounter with Jesus that seizes the disciples' and our own attention. Matthew evokes the poetry of the Psalms, the Book of Sirach and the prophet Isaiah in which God, the Lord of all creation treads upon the waves, marches over the sea. And on this stormy night poetry morphs into reality as a boatload of disciples discover Rabbi Jesus doing what only God can do. And they are stunned, terrified, undone. Awed by this recognition of the divinity of Jesus, the disciples instinctively bow down before Jesus. This is the body language of worship, as they acknowledge their experience of the awesome presence of the Holy One of Israel. 

But Peter seeks even more. His response to Jesus, "Bid me come to you" discloses his desire for union with Jesus, truly human, truly divine. Jesus' reply, "Come" is an invitation and confirmation, revealing Jesus' desire for union and communion with Peter, with us- now.

Christ at the Sea of Galilee, Jacopo Tintoretto, Venetian,  c. 1575/1580, oil on canvas, 46 1/8 x 66 5/8 in., National Gallery of Art, Washington. Excerpts from this morning's homily by Father Isaac.