Tuesday in the 18th Week of Ordinary Time (II)
Memorial of St. Dominic
Readings: Jeremiah 30:1-2, 12-15, 18-22; Psalm 102:16-18, 19-21, 29 and 22-23; Matthew 14:22-36
I’m reminded today of Michaelangelo’s famous painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. I’ve never seen the original, only copies. But I’m reminded today of the scene it presents: both God and humanity reaching out to each other, fingers barely touching. This is an image of our salvation. This is an image of what God does continually – from age to age and generation to generation, from day to day and moment to moment – God reaches out to humanity.
But it takes two hands to clap. We need to respond in order for the contact to be made. And this is something we don’t do so well. We tend to look to other gods – such as material success and wealth – for our happiness, thus forsaking the One True God. And we pay the price for our lack of fidelity. Hence God’s indictment of the people in today’s first reading may also apply to us: your wound is incurable, your injury past healing… So great is your guilt, so many your sins. And even when we do finally decide to turn and walk towards God, our resolve is weak. Like Peter in the gospel, we encounter the various storms of life and we falter. We start to sink again into what could be our watery grave.
Still God continues to reach out. As long as we make some effort – however tentative and feeble – God comes the rest of the way. When we stumble, we have only to cry out, as Peter does: Lord! Save me! And God comes at once to our aid. This insight should not give us cause to remain lukewarm. On the contrary, it should move us to respond ever more generously, to reach out ever more readily.
How are being called to do so today?