The following text was preached at a Holy Hour in reparation for the scandals in the Church. The Gospel preached that night was Matthew 14:22-33, in which Peter walks on the water.
I was 12 years old the first time I drowned. I was down the shore with my family when I suddenly was knocked over by a wave, got caught in the undertow and began being pulled away from shore. I can still remember the feel of the sand as it slipped through my fingers, the taste of saltwater filling my mouth, but, most of all, I remember feeling that I had no control over what was happening to me.
How Peter must have felt the same way in our Gospel tonight! Here he is, in the darkest part of the night, in the middle of a terrible storm, slipping into the icy water beneath his feet, and there is nothing he can do about it. As he began to slide into the dark sea below him, he probably wondered how he got to this point. How had he lost control?
Because he lost focus on the most important thing; he lost focus on Jesus! It was Jesus who called him into the storm. It was Jesus who told him to do the impossible. It was Jesus who told him to not be afraid.
And it was Jesus who saved Peter when he needed him most. Peter began to sink because he was worried about how strong the wind was, how the waves lapped his legs as he walked. Yet, the moment he called out to Christ to save him, our Lord was there.
Brothers and Sisters, we are in one of the darkest moments of the Church’s history. We are in a time when it seems as if all light is gone and there is no reason to go on. But, we do have a light in this darkness. Not just any light, but light from the Son, the Son of God who stands on the horizon bidding each of us to “Come”. In this storm of scandal in which our sorrow, our anger, our frustration buffets our faith, Jesus is here calling us to do what might seem impossible: He is calling us to be not afraid and to come to Him.
I am not here to tell you that your anger isn’t justified; it is. I am not here to tell you that your frustration, fears and doubts aren’t justified; they are. But I am here to tell you to not let these things distract you from Christ and drag you down. Now is not the time to sink! Now is not the time to doubt! Instead, now is the time to cry out “Lord, save me!” Now, more than ever, we must answer Our Lord’s call. Now, more than ever, we must focus on Him, so that we too may do the impossible.