Read the Homily

On the day of the resurrection Jesus walked through the locked doors. It states in the Gospels that the apostles were frightened because they thought they were seeing a ghost. They probably thought it was the angel of death coming to wipe them out for being such lousy apostles a few days before when they abandoned the Lord at his arrest in the garden. Jesus had a small panic attack on his hands. So the first thing Jesus did was he showed them his hands. Why? They didn’t recognize his resurrected body, but they will recognize the hands. Why his hand? Let’s take a look at Peter. Peter saw the hand and recognized it. He had seen that hand before.

One day Jesus told the disciples to cross the lake to the other side. While they crossed there was a storm in the night and Jesus came to them walking on the water. When they saw Jesus walking on the water they cried in panic. Same thing as the day of the resurrection. They thought they were seeing a ghost. So Jesus calls out to them and says. “Do not fear; it is I.” Peter says to the Lord from the boat, “If it is really you, tell me join you on the water.”

Did you ever see a lake on a calm day?  It looks like a dance floor—you could just run right across it. A stormy day is different. The heavy rain and wind create waves. Waves are like moving bowling balls that want to knock you down. How do you walk with bowling balls coming at you one after the other? Do you jump over the bowling balls? Do you jump on top of the bowling balls? I have no idea how you walk on water when there are waves. I’ve never walked on water before and neither had Peter. Peter lost his footing and was predictably was knocked down and started to sink. Peter cries out, “Save me!” Immediately, the Lord extended his hand. It was in that moment that Peter got a really good look at that hand. Peter knows the saving hand of God.

I think that is a great message. It is okay to be saved by God. There is nothing to be ashamed of when God saves us. Something great happens when we are saved. We get a good look at the saving hand of God. That is how we connect with God. We receive valuable information about God when we are saved.

Do you remember when Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” The disciples answer his question and we find out that there are a lot of opinions out there about Jesus. Then he asked them “Who do you say that I am?”  You would think that all the disciples would have instantly raised their hands in unison with the answer. “Well, of course, we know who you are. We were there when the paralyzed man was lowered from a hole in the roof and walked out the door carrying his cot. We were there when you fed 5,000 families with a few loaves of bread. We were there when you put mud on the eyes of the blind man and gave him his sight.” All of them should have said, “You are the Son of God.” They didn’t. It was only Peter. What made Peter different from the others? Why did Peter know more about Jesus than the others? Peter was saved. Peter saw the saving hand of God in his life. Peter needed to be saved and he made a connection with God.

When I die and if I have the privilege to go to heaven to meet Saint Peter, I am going to ask him a question. “What it was like to walk on water?” Was it like walking on Jell-O? What did it feel like to have a weightless body? What is it like to be a human life-preserver? I can only ask that question to one person. I cannot ask this question to the other disciples. Why? Because Peter is the only one who got out of the boat. Here is the faith lesson. It is okay to need God. There is no reason to be ashamed when you reach out to the saving hand of God. The greatest thing that can happen to us is to be saved by God. We get valuable information when we are saved. That is how we connect with God. When we are saved, we are able to answer the question of Jesus: “Who do you say that I am?”

Back to All Homilies