Fr. Walsh’s Sunday Message:

This summer, I learned a few things about racing small sail boats.  One lesson involved the need to bail-out any water that enters the boat.  The weight of the additional water will slow down a boat in a competitive sailing race.  Today (Mt. 14:22 -33), the disciples are out at sea in their boat and the winds begin tossing the boat.  No doubt they were taking on water, perhaps unable to bail-out the water as fast as it was entering.  Fear was setting-in.

Symbolically speaking, have you ever felt the water was entering your boat faster than you could bail it out – like you were using a small cup when you needed a gallon jug to deal with the demands of your life?  These moments leave us overwhelmed and stressed-out. We can develop  fears of not “measuring-up” as a husband, wife, son, daughter, student, employee, friend, etc.  Did you notice what Peter did today when he was faced with a similar situation?  He walked toward Christ instead of walking away from him.  We can have a tendency to walk away from Christ when we are overwhelmed, stressed or filled with fear, which,typically, will lead us to finding an unhealthy coping mechanism.

Here’s one of my favorite prayers from St. Francis de Sales that I meditate on when I find the water coming into my boat faster than I can bail it out.  “Do not fear what may happen tomorrow.  The same loving Father who cares for you today will care for you tomorrow and everyday.  Either he will shield you from suffering or he will give you the unfailing strength to bear it.  Be at peace, then, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginings.”