This Gospel reminded me of a trip I made back in January to Minnesota.
Believe it or not, the weather in Minnesota in January is not tropical. We had scattered snow and the temperatures hovered close to zero. Along with the snow, there was ice. I spent several days just living in my boots, carefully making my way around church parking lots and sidewalks. One evening, I called my wife and told her, “Guess what, honey: today I walked on water. It was ice, but it was still water!”
The fact is, like Peter, all of us are summoned to walk on water — even if it isn’t frozen.
This Gospel reminds us: we are here to answer the call of Christ, to follow in his footsteps, no matter how improbable or impossible it might seem.
We are called to defy our human nature, to do what is risky.
Even if that means walking on water.
How do we do that? How do we even begin?
It begins by saying “Yes” to Christ when he calls — and then stepping out of the boat.
It begins by leaving what is steady and secure and going into the unknown.
To walk on water means to trust God totally — and to follow his will for us.
That means to love fearlessly — loving God and our neighbor. Praying faithfully, living thoughtfully, giving selflessly.
But that’s just the beginning. I would argue that walking on water is nothing less than facing the daily challenge of living the Gospel. It means defying the world and being, in every way, countercultural.
To walk on water means to stand for the weak, the voiceless, the suffering. It means to stand for life, all life.
To walk on water means to bear witness to mercy and justice in a merciless, unjust world, a world where the winds howl and the waters surge.
To walk on water means doing what is hard. What may even seem hopeless.
It means trusting enough to answer Jesus when he says “Come.”
It means following the way of Christ, even when the world might think that’s foolish.
But to walk on water also means discovering, as Peter did, that Jesus won’t let us sink. His hand is outstretched, waiting to catch us.
In this time of turmoil and uncertainty, no message could be more reassuring.
This Sunday, we pray that we have the patience and trust and faith to follow him where he wants us to go.
Remember this: as we stretch out our hands for the Eucharist, Jesus stretches out his hand to us, just as he did to Peter.
We reach for the Lord, and hold fast to him — our strength, our guide, our hope.
And he holds fast to us.
And we pray.
We pray to have the courage to say “Yes” when Christ calls.
We pray at this moment to be the kinds of disciples Christ wants us to be, the kind of Christians the world needs right now.
We pray for God’s grace, so we can step out of the boat — and begin walking on water.