19th Sunday Ordinary Time – Situated again with the Disciples & Peter

disciples_frightened

A couple final quotations to complete the picture of discipleship then and today.

In the fourth watch of the night Jesus came toward them walking on the water.  Matthew makes a subtle but key connection with another part of his gospel by telling us it was night, nux.  Later, at the last supper, he speaks first to the disciples…

Matthew 26:31            Then Jesus said to them, “You will all become deserters because of me this night; for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’

And then to Peter, the bold one, the one who compulsively has to stand out, who claims absolute fidelity and loyalty to Jesus…

Matthew 26:34            Jesus said to him, “Truly I tell you, this very night, before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.”

The test that happens here occurs again when Jesus’ predictions about his arrest, trial, suffering, death, and resurrection happens.  It’s the same test: built on rock? built on sand?

 

When they saw Jesus walking on the sea, they were terrified, tarasso.  However, it’s a very specific kind of terror – the kind one reacts with when one’s kingdom is threatened.  

I react to threats of war from North Korea with fear, sadness, and anger.  I feel my own kingdom is threatened.  I won’t be able to win approval and adulation from God and everyone else.  So, like Herod, “Kill ’em!”

Matthew 2:3f            When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him;  and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.

  • How do you react to threats to your security, prestige, reputation, or basic self-will?

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