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  Word To Life

Sunday Scripture Readings, Aug. 7, 2011

By Jeff Hedglen
Catholic News Service

August 7, Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Cycle A Readings:

1) Kings 19:9a, 11-13a

Psalm 85:9-14

2) Romans 9:1-5

Gospel: Matthew 14:22-33

There is a scene in the movie "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" when Indiana Jones has come very close to finding the Holy Grail. He is standing at the edge of a never-ending chasm and sees no way to cross it. After looking everywhere else, he finally looks within himself and realizes that to cross this chasm to find the Holy Grail is going to take a leap of faith.

So he lifts up his foot, closes his eyes and steps out into thin air. His foot lands on an invisible bridge. His step in faith has been rewarded.

This same scene played out centuries before Indy went looking for the Grail. In fact, before the cup of the New Covenant was first lifted, St. Peter was called to take his own leap of faith.

The disciples were on the Sea of Galilee, being tossed about by waves when they saw a figure walking on the water. This sight frightened them, but Jesus told them not to be afraid, for it was he.

Peter wanted proof. He said, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water."

Jesus' reply was simple: "Come."

At this moment, Peter had to put his money -- or more literally, his foot -- where his mouth was. So Peter took a step out of the boat.

I imagine it was something like the scene in Indiana Jones: foot up, eyes closed, hoping against hope that he would not plunge to his death. In this case, real life was just as amazing as the movies, for Peter did in fact walk on water.

There are times in our lives when we have to step out in faith and trust Jesus to catch us, whether it is in a relationship, a job situation, a financial decision, a parenting dilemma or surrendering oneself to Jesus.

Whatever the case may be, it is never an easy moment. But we can do just as Indiana and Peter did: raise our foot, close our eyes and step out into the will of God for our lives.


Have you ever had a moment in your life when you had to take a leap of faith? How did it turn out? What do you think was going through Peter's mind when he did not sink?


"Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus" (Matthew 14:29).


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