August 14, 2020

Editorial

Now is a time to remember that God never abandons us

“Peter said to him in reply, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’ He said, ‘Come.’ Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught Peter, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’ ” (Mt 14:28-31)

How is your faith?

It seems like a simple question, but nowadays, for many of us, there is no simple answer.

We are facing trials and storms that most have not seen in our lifetime. A worldwide pandemic has brought tremendous darkness to many lives, and we wonder when the uncertainty will end. Do we trust God will get us through these challenging times? Or has our faith wavered?

The Gospel reading from last weekend, the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, offers us a prime example of how the Apostles—in this case, Peter—let doubt creep into their life situations and failed to fully trust in our Lord Jesus.

And it was only when Peter refocused on Jesus and asked for him to “save me” did the Lord respond with mercy and love.

Pope Francis said he, like everyone else, experiences trials that can shake his faith, but the key to surviving those harrowing moments is to call out to the Lord for help.

“When we have strong feelings of doubt and fear and we seem to be sinking, [and] in life’s difficult moments when everything becomes dark, we must not be ashamed to cry out like Peter, ‘Lord, save me’ ” (Mt 14:30), the pope said on Aug. 9, commenting on the day’s Gospel story during his Angelus address at the Vatican.

This Gospel narrative, the Holy Father continued, “is an invitation to abandon ourselves trustingly to God in every moment of our life, especially in times of trial and turmoil.”

Humanity, we could all agree, is currently in a time of trial. But how many of us are putting our faith front and center as we try to overcome what we confront each day?

We hear some people asking if this is “the new normal?” Not being able to talk face-to-face with co-workers and friends, staying 6 feet apart to adhere to social distancing guidelines while wearing a mask, and perusing e-mails and messages from your child’s or children’s schools in hopes that there are no coronaviruses diagnoses is anything but normal. Or at least we believe it isn’t normal—yet.

We are only human, so many of us are wobbled by the day-to-day news of ever-increasing COVID-19 statistics that is delivering punches to the gut for many of us.

But like Peter, the Holy Father said, believers must learn “to knock on God’s heart, on Jesus’ heart.”

“Lord, save me” is “a beautiful prayer. We can repeat it many times,” the pope said.

Jesus’ response to Peter shows the Lord never abandons us. It is when we fail to focus on Jesus and fail to trust him that life’s trials overwhelm us.

“In dark moments, in sad moments, he is well aware that our faith is weak; all of us are people of little faith—all of us, myself included,” the pope said. “Our faith is weak; our journey can be troubled, hindered by adverse forces,” but the Lord is “present beside us, lifting us back up after our falls, helping us grow in faith.”

Growing in faith means keeping our heart turned to God, to his love, to his fatherly tenderness amid the storm, the pope added.

Now, more than ever, is a time for us to trust in Jesus.

Let us pray, that we remember, no matter what, God never abandons us.

—Mike Krokos

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