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  My Witness

Vol. 4, No. 2, April, 1999

Letting Jesus Be Lord!
by Sr. Brigid Meierotto, S.N.C.

Sister Brigid This is the tenth in a series of articles entitled: "You Are Invited to a Profound Interior Renewal." We repeat the quote from the Vatican II Decree on the Church's Missionary Activity:

"Since the whole Church is missionary, and the work of evangelization the fundamental task of the people of God, this Sacred Synod invites all to undertake a profound interior renewal so that being vitally conscious of their responsibility for the spread of the Gospel they might play their part in missionary work among the nations" (*35, Decree on the Church's Missionary Activity). In the fall issue of MY WITNESSES, we talked about three kinds of faith: believing, trusting and expecting. We focused on that faith which expects God to act in our lives. Because this faith is so essential for us to have, I am also going to spend our time now reflecting on the practical implications of living each day in expectant faith.

Expectant faith often means that I have to act before I can see God act. This truth is protrayed throughout the Sacred Scriptures.

Let us look at the time when Peter walked on the water to come to Jesus. Matthew 14:22-23 reads: "Then he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat this time was many furlongs distant from the land, beaten by the waves; for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, 'It is a ghost!' And they cried out for fear. But immediately he spoke to them saying, 'Take heart, it is I; have no fear.' And Peter answered him, 'Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you on the water.' He said, 'Come.' So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus: but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, 'Lord, save me,' jesus immediately reached out his hand and cought him, saying to him, 'O man of little faith, why did you doubt?' And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshipped him, saying, 'Truly your are the Son of God.'"

Peter was in the boat and became terrified when he saw Jesus walking across the sea. Peter cried out, "Lord, if it is you, bid me come." Jesus said "Come." Without hesitation Peter stepped out onto the raging sea and began to walk toward Jesus.

How was it possible for Peter to take that impossible step? First, he had to have that faith that trusted in Jesus' word to him. Jesus would surely not tell him to come if he could not actually come to Him. Jusus does not command us to do the impossible.

Peter also needed that faith that expected Jesus to act, that expected Jesus to somehow hold him up by His power. But for Jesus to hold Peter up, Peter first had to step out and walk himself. His part was indispensable. There would be no walking on water unless Peter actually did the walking. It was the power of Jesus that made it possible for the water to hold Peter up, but if Peter had never stepped out of the boat, we would not know about the power of Jesus.

This is the way that we can limit the power of the Lord in our life. When we fail to trust Him, when we fail to expect Him to come through for us, when we refuse to take that necessary step that is always a risk. The consequence is that Jesus is unable to act.

We like Peter, need expectant faith. Maybe we do not need a lot, but we at least need enough to take that first necessary step in order to make it possible for the Lord Jesus to act in our life. Jesus calls us and faith requires that we respond to His call, that we believe it, count on it and act upon it.

If your faith is weak, then pray to Jesus that He fill you more with His Holy Spirit to increase and strengthen your trust, your faith. The power of the Spirit is given only because Jesus is Lord. "This is the Jesus God has raised up, and we are His witnesses. Exalted at God's right hand, he first received the promised Holy Spirit from the Father, then poured this Spirit out on us" (Acts 2:32-33). Only through Jesus Christ can we receive the indwelling and power of His Holy Spirit, the gift of the Father.

Our lives today are very complex. In the midst of this complexity God gives us the answer to our fears, anxieties and regrets: Jesus, "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him may not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). Because Jesus is Lord we can rely on His Spirit acting in us as we take the risk of faith.


The following reflections are intended to bring this article alive for you as a valuable tool for your interior renewal:

First: Reread the article. Picture yourself in the boat hearing Jesus say, "Come."

Second: Prepare yourself for prayer. Stand before the Father, realizing that He looks upon you and loves you. Pray the Our Father and the Hail Mary.

Pray: "Most loving Father, in the name of Jesus our Lord, I pray you to fill me with your Holy Spirit that my imagination, my memory, my thoughts, the intentions of my will, my whole person be for your praise."

Third: Take your Bible or this article and slowly read Matthew 8:5-13. Picture yourself in the place of Peter, hearing Jesus and responding to Him just as Peter did.

Fourth: Now choose your answers to the following reflections:

  1. When the storm was raging around me before I saw Jesus:
    a)  I thought I was lost
    b)  I was confused and could do nothing
    c)  I was angry at God for letting this happen
    d)  other ____________________________
  2. When Jesus responded to me with "Come":
    a)  I felt that He could save me if I stepped out
    b)  I thought, "He can't mean it."
    c)  I was even more terrified
    d)  other ____________________________
  3. In the midst of my weakness when Jesus caught me I said to Him:
    a)  "Jesus, I will never distrust you again!"
    b)  "My Jesus mercy!"
    c)  "I love you, Jesus!"
    d)  other ____________________________
Fifth: Pray seven Our Fathers, hail Marys and Glory Be to the Fathers, in trust, praise and thanksgiving.

For Effective Evangelization:

Step out in expectant faith so that the power of the Spirit will be visible in your life giving witness to all who see you that Jesus is Lord!

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