“Lord, if it is you, command me…”

Today’s reading from the Gospel of Matthew (14:22-36) relates the story of Jesus walking on the sea toward his disciples who are cowering in the boat. They are terrified because they think he is a ghost. He speaks to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” And then we have Peter’s response, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” And Jesus says, “Come.”

From there we usually get caught up on the details of Peter getting out of boat (at least he got out of the boat!) and then walking toward Jesus (he was walking on the water!), but then he sees how strong the wind was and he gets frightened and begins to sink.

I would like to go back to something that happened in the interchange between Jesus and the disciples, especially Peter. Jesus said, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” And Peter said, “Lord, if it is you…” Lord, if it is you!

I can truly relate to how Peter began his response to the Lord: “If it is you…” Jesus had already identified himself. Peter even calls him Lord, and yet there is that hesitation in his spirit. So often, I have sensed in my spirit that I am do so something, in fact, very strongly. I receive that impression and then I wait. I mull it over. I even pray and say, “Lord, I want to do your will, but what is it you want me to do?” No doubt, you have experienced something similar.

I mentioned a few days ago that I sensed strongly that I was to pick up this blog again after about 15 months of not writing. I kept hesitating. I even mentioned once to my confessor that I felt impressed to write, but didn’t because of fear that what I had to say might not be well received. He heard me and told me that he believed that God had given me an “apostolate” (a call) to share my faith through writing) and yet I put it off. I was doing the same thing as Peter, “Lord, if it is you…call me back to the blog.”

Now, I would be the first to say that there are many other blogs out there doing fine work of sharing the faith, but that is not the point. Our Lord was calling me to respond, and it is time to get out of the safety of the boat.

“Lord, save me!”

“Lord, if it is you, command me…”

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