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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

What are you afraid of? How can you move from fear to faith? Can you open your heart to Jesus, the initiator of faith? - Daily Reflections August 2, 2016


FAITH IS CAUGHT, NOT TAUGHT
 
We become powerless when we are faced with things beyond our control. Then we become afraid. Because of fear, we forget the many truths about ourselves — that we are good and wonderful, that we are God’s beloved. Our perceptions become distorted. In the Gospel, the disciples did not recognize the Lord. They perceived Jesus as a ghost.
       Albert Nolan in his book, Jesus Before Christianity, says, “Fear in the presence of the challenges of the Gospel hides something very grave — the lack of faith. We are narrow-mindedly distracted by the problems we invent to avoid looking at the inhuman reality face to face. ‘There is no hope’ is a statement of fear. It is a statement of a heart that does not believe in the power of God, and a heart that does not have hope for what God has promised.”
       Peter said, “ If You are the Lord, allow me to walk above the water…” If you have the Lord, you do not need a boat because you can walk on water. With eyes fixed on Jesus, Peter was able to do this. Jesus is the initiator of faith. Faith is an attitude that people caught from Him. Faith cannot be taught. It could only be caught. Jesus fixed His eyes also on Peter and saw something great in him. As Jesus initiated the faith, the faith in Peter’s heart was also awakened. Peter began to walk above the water. After three steps, however, Peter sank. His connection to Jesus was gradually loosened by fear. He forgot to fix his eyes on Jesus. His attention was caught by the strong wind. His perspective changed.
       We are called to fix our eyes on Jesus. He is looking at us. His faith in us allows us to recognize our greatness. With His touch, His word, and His love, He gives us the faith and the strength to stand and live. As we look at Jesus who believes in us, we do not magnify our problems, but we magnify our God.
       God believes in us. He knows that we can walk above troubled water. Fear not. Have faith. Fr. Alex Balatbat
 
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: What are you afraid of? How can you move from fear to faith? Can you open your heart to Jesus, the initiator of faith?
 
As I fix my eyes on You, Lord, help me to see the greatness of Your power. Allow me to see the way You see. Give me the faith and strength to stand and live in Your name. Amen.

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