? 1kgs 19:9a.11-13, PS 85, ROM 9:1-5, Gosp Mt 14:22-33.
✍? FR OGECHUKWU OKPULU.
?ALWAYS HAVE YOUR EYES FIXED ON JESUS.
There are different games in the world and all requires 100% concentration on the part of the player before winning can be achieved. For instance, in the game of football, every player especially the goalkeeper is expected to concentrate and have his eyes fixed on the ball always, any distraction will tantamount to the goalkeeper allowing a cheap goal.
Somehow, when it comes to religion, a similar piece of advice can be given: ” keep your eyes fixed on Jesus “.
The Gospel reading today gives us a clear example with the incident that took place on the sea where Jesus was walking on the sea and asked Peter to walk on the sea towards Him. Peter immediately got out of the boat and walked on the water. But at a point when he turned his eyes away from Jesus, he became afraid and he started to sink. Probably he could not imagine himself walking on the water.
Something like that can happen in the life of a Christian. At baptism, we reject Satan and all his empty promises and we start off with great zeal of faith. We believe in Jesus’ love and power to protect and help us in whatever situation we find ourselves. At that time we have our eyes fixed on Jesus, but when we are faced with challenges in life; sickness, financial crises, loss of job or unemployment, delay in finding a life partner, childlessness, the list is endless, we become distracted and we take our eyes off Jesus. We begin to look in the other direction for solutions to our problems. Some will seek refuge in occultism, secret societies, alcohol, womanizing and the likes.
Peter began to feel the strong wind when he turned his eyes away from Jesus and began to sink. Likewise we, if we concentrate and fix our eyes only on our difficulties, the difficulties will swallow us. But when we keep our eyes on Jesus,Jesus will save us.
Note that immediately Jesus got into the boat, the wind ceased. When Jesus comes into a soul, He makes the winds and storm cease and brings peace. Like Peter, we are encouraged when in difficulty , we should be courageous to cry out: ” LORD JESUS SAVE ME”. Thus the psalmist says: ” l lift up my eyes to the mountains from where shall come my help, my help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Ps 121:1-2).
Beloved we need faith to have our eyes fixed on Jesus always. If one has faith does not mean he will not face trials and tribulations, neither does it shield us from the hard knocks of life and death. A clear example is the life of prophet Elijah in the first reading. Elijah was a man of great faith, because of his opposition to idolatry, queen Jezebel wanted to kill him. He ran for his life and took refuge in a cave. He was tired of life and wanted to die. However, in the cave he experienced the presence of God and reassured by the experience, he was able to go on. The same was the life of St. Paul in the second reading and the lives of the early Christians. They too were people of faith. Nevertheless they encountered persecution.
Finally, we pray that our faith will continually reassure us that we are not alone in our trials, that Jesus is always with us to lead us back to our final home. ??.
DO HAVE A FULFILLING AND PEACEFUL WEEK AHEAD AND GOD BLESS YOU.??