HomeCommentaryBALIK-TANAW: Maintaining the balanced faith

BALIK-TANAW: Maintaining the balanced faith

Our gospel reading today made me recall one of the gymnastic events in the Olympics called the pommel horse. This is a sport that requires balance, strength, flexibility, agility, coordination, and endurance. One of the top athletes in this sport is Krisztián Berki of Hungary.

In parity, our faith also requires balance, strength, flexibility, agility, coordination, and endurance in order to maintain its relevance and significance in the world.

Maintaining physical fitness and a balanced diet is requisite, in the same vein, spiritual fitness requires a balanced faith.

Let us read the gospel according to Matthew 14:22-33. 

“After he had fed the people, Jesus made the disciples get into a boat and precede him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. After doing so, he went up to the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone. Meanwhile, the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. “It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear. At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter said to him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water. “He said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught Peter, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” After they got into the boat, the wind died down. Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying, “Truly, you are the Son of God.”

Contemplating from this story, it intimates that Jesus Christ, our Lord, is the Lord of all nature. His walking over the water and calming down waves that tossed the boat of the disciples, reveals God’s power over the tempest.

Furthermore, in their overwhelming fret and fear, Jesus accorded peace in their midst. In his astonishment, Peter expressed his desire to walk in the water and Jesus obliged on the request of the former. Upon seeing the strong wind, Peter was frightened again and he began to sink and lost his balance. Our Lord saved him by the hand with a note “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

- Newsletter -

We are in a world full of inequities and imbalances. The ecological imbalance and the economic inequities are making havoc in the lives of many people in various communities. The ever-increasing concentration of resources and power in the hands of the few widens the gap between the poor and the rich.

In 1730, Robert Morgan, one of the original members of the “Holy Club” the precursor of Methodism in England, persuaded John and Charles Wesley to add a new obligation to their exacting duties by visiting jails and charity hospitals. Other than fasting every Wednesday and Friday, they began collecting funds that could be used to discharge the debts of the families imprisoned not because of sloth or profligacy but as a result of hardship or poverty.

Perhaps it is high time that in the deep of the ecological imbalance and economic inequities troubling and besetting our communities, a balanced spirituality of the faithful is exigent. We need a faith that challenges and rebukes the social realities and conditions that tossed up and down the lives of the poor and the vulnerable.

Blessed Sunday everyone.

Gospel reflection of Rev.  Jonathan Ulanday of the United Methodist Church for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time. 1 Kgs 19:9a, 11-13a; Ps 85:9, 10, 11-12, 13-14; Rom 9:1-5; Mt 14:22-33   

Balik-Tanaw is a group blog of the Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR). The Lectionary Gospel reflection is an invitation for meditation, contemplation, and action.

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