What Fear Disables, Prayer Enables

Aug 10, 2014 | [post_view] Views


Your Portion of Daily Crumbs

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 10, 2014



First Reading: 1 KGS 19:9A, 11-13A

Responsible Psalm: PS 85:9, 10, 11-12, 13-14

Second Reading: ROM 9:1-5

Gospel: MT 14:22-33



What fear disables, prayer enables. We can see this theme prevailing in our Gospel today. The Gospel started off with Jesus dismissing the crowd after feeding them (The Feeding of the Five Thousand).  He also told His disciples to go ahead to the their side of the lake by boat while He stayed and prayed alone up on the mountain. The Gospel continues that Jesus caught up with His disciples who were now a few miles offshore tossed by strong waves because of strong headwinds. Seeing Jesus walking on the sea, not knowing to was Jesus, the disciples were terrified. They had nowhere to hide. They even cried out in fear. But this is not the kind of fear I am referring to in the theme. I am referring to the fear of Peter.jesus-walking-on-the-water

Peter, trying to solicit proof from Jesus whether he is really Jesus, asked Him to bid him come to Him on the water. He was able to walk on the water for awhile but he became frightened. Then he began to sink. If we examine the Gospel closely, it was not the sinking he was afraid of, nor the strong waves but it was the wind.  He lost his attention on Jesus after he saw “how strong the wind was.” Fear disabled him. Fear paralyzed him. Fear removed his focus on Jesus. He sank because of fear.

We do in our lives experience various kinds of fear. There is fear of the unknown (which is called anxiety), fear of going to high risked or dangerous places, fear of night “dark creatures”, fear of the dark,  fear of spirits or fear of “wandering” souls, etc. These are normal fears.  There are also what we call psychological fears, fear of high places (acrophobia), fear of water (hydrophobia), fear of closed places (claustrophobia),  fear of open spaces (agoraphobia), etc… These kinds of fears and many others according to ones experiences disable our ability to see and understand things clearly. We then have various physical experiences like difficulty breathing, our hearts pounding and worse, we are unable to move and many other physical manifestations. (For more info please visit this site on fears and phobias.)

We are all afraid of something. When we are afraid, we lost our focus. When we lost our focus, we do not do things right. Our right sensibility is disabled. Spiritually, our fears could manifest our lack of faith in God.  Nonetheless, this is also a time for us to trust God. I remember, in our house in Ozamiz, every time we discussed about the “spirit” dwelling in our residence, fear on something invisible overwhelmed us. My sisters, that at times, refused to go up to their rooms because of fear. What gave us the courage to face our fear of the “spirit” was to recite the Apostles’ Creed every time we go up to our bedrooms especially at night. Prayer then was our refuge, our strength. It enables us face our fears and do things courgageously.

Peter, in our Gospel, called out on Jesus for help when he began to sink. He prayed. He asked for Jesus’ assistance.  And he was saved. Prayer enabled Peter to focus on Jesus. Prayer helped me face my fears with courage. I was able to sleep at night in my bedroom believing that God is with me, that there is nothing to be afraid of.  Prayer brings us to focus on God and not on the distractions.

A toddler who is learning to walk falls at distractions. When he lost his focus on his mother bidding him to come to her, he falls. Peter lost his focus on Jesus because he became afraid of the strong winds, then he began to sink. He called on Jesus, and he was saved. When we also lost our focus on God because of fear, we could not move, we become frigid, we stagnate, we do not progress in life. What will help us move in life is prayer. We are then reminded to pray and pray even more. What fear disables, prayer enables.


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Dispel fear.  Spread the message.