Walking On Water
Imagine if Jesus was walking on water and asked you to come and walk on water with Him. Even though skeptical at first, you start walking towards Jesus, fixing your eyes on Him. Suddenly, you look in a different direction. You look down in fear and then start sinking. Gasping for breath, Jesus quickly comes to your rescue; He reaches out to you and lifts you up. This is what happened to our first pope, St Peter. We may find this happening in our lives as well. We must ride and wrestle with the waves of life, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus. So, how do we keep our eyes fixed on the Saviour and avoid sinking, in spite of our sins and the temptations we encounter?
Love for Neighbours
In the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 25, Jesus depicts how the final judgement of people will take place. Jesus will ask whether you fed the hungry, gave water to the thirsty, and performed other services of love. When we have the opportunity, we should serve our neighbours in these ways. But God is also asking us to feed our neighbours with His Word, and to share His teachings with those who are thirsty, because only Jesus can provide living water. “On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, He cried out, -‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me” (John 7:37). Often, we move on to the next step in life, thinking that we just have to be good. But God did not call us just to be good, He called us to be holy. He called us not simply to be comfortable, but to strive for even greater holiness. We might be under the illusion that we do not have to serve God until we become adults and settled with jobs, but the truth is that God is calling each one of us to serve Him here and now.
A Poignant Example
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati lived his entire life as a young man for God. Even while studying, he offered every moment as part of God’s will. He chose to learn mining engineering because he wanted to serve Christ among miners. Whatever little he had, he offered to the poor in the streets. He got out of his comfort zone to speak against the fascist and communist ideals in society and cared for the sick in his community. Helping the poor in the slums during a polio epidemic, he contracted polio, yet he remained selfless. Even while he was gravely ill, he still cared for his dying grandmother. The night before his death, Pier Giorgio asked a friend to buy medicine for a poor sick man he had been visiting. In every moment of his life, he gave glory to God. Just like this young man, we are called to be the new saints of the 21 century. As the author of the poem “We Need Saints” recites, “We need saints without veil or cassock. We need saints who wear jeans and sneakers…we need modern saints, saints of the 21 century with spirituality that is part of our time.”
Will We Have Struggles?
Yes, of course, we will face temptations and persecution from our own peers who may persecute us. People may reject or ignore us. We may even have physical sufferings, but like Blessed Pier Giorgio, we should pray for the desire to serve God even through these trials. Remember that God is with us and that He gave His mother, Mary, to be our mother to accompany us every step of the way. When Sr Lucia became a Marian visionary as a pre-teen, she suffered not only from the disbelief of the Portuguese government officials, but also from her own mother. throughout her suffering Mother Mary and Jesus were always by her side. Just like Sr Lucia, we will be guided by our Blessed Mother in all our difficulties.
Let us remember that we have all the Saints and our own guardian angel, constantly interceding for us. The ‘Word of God’ is our weapon to fight against all evil. Furthermore, we can receive His power in flesh and blood at every Holy Mass to refuel our strength. God has gifted us with the Sacraments, especially the Sacrament of Reconciliation, so we can always go back to God to receive His forgiveness and grace and to enable us to strive to sin no more. We have been bestowed with the promise of eternal life. Therefore, let us pray that our hope in this promise is increased and let us strive to live for God, for holiness.
St John Paul II reminds us, “Remember that you are never alone, Christ is with you on your journey every day of your lives! He has called you and chosen you to live in the freedom as the children of God. Turn to Him in prayer and in love. Ask Him to always grant you the courage and strength to live in this freedom. Walk with Him, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.”
by Tina Makkanal from Georgia, USA