Pentecost 9 :: Laser Tag?

Matthew 14.22-33

Have you ever played with a cat using a laser light pen? Laser pens emit a colored point of light [usually red] over long distances. People who make Power-Point presentations often use these to highlight important elements in the projected image. Anyway, if you’ve ever used a laser light pen to play with a cat you know how much fun it can be. The cat will attack and stomp on and run to and grab at that point of light as you wave the light back and forth across a wall. Nothing else matters to the cat. The pursuit of the light is all there is. No obstacle will deter the animal from its lofty goal of capture. Such determination by the cat to “catch” that little point of light can provide hours of delightful entertainment [okay, maybe not “hours,” but a long time nevertheless!]!

That kind of laser-focused attention is what a life of faith entails. Seeing Jesus, knowing Jesus, following Jesus, being like Jesus: all these pursuits of the faith journey demand of the believer complete mindfulness. Nothing else matters. No obstacle thrown in our spiritual path can keep us from seeking the life of Christ.

St. Peter had that focus when he began to walk on the water in order to be near Jesus. Had he kept that focus, our Gospel story for today would have turned out much differently. But he lost it. He looked down and saw the waters beneath him. And he probably thought something like, “Hey! I can’t walk on water. No one can!!!” and he became fearful and began to sink.

Faith in Christ can move mountains. It can even help the believer to walk on water. But, unless our focus is like that of a cat driven to catch a laser light, we too, like Peter, will sink.

Link to RCL Lectionary for Proper 14, Year A

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