Blessed Pope John Paul II spent a good part of his pontificate reminding us to go deeper into our faith and to keep our focus on Jesus. Remember the story in Matthew 14:22–33 of Peter walking on the water toward Christ? One night Peter was fishing with some of the apostles when they saw Christ walking toward them on the water. Suddenly filled with zeal, Peter asked Jesus if he could walk across the water to meet him. “Come,” Jesus said. So Peter climbed out of the boat and he began to walk on water. When he became afraid, he took his focus off Christ, got distracted, and began to sink. “Lord, save me,” Peter cried. Jesus grabbed his hand, pulled him up, and together they stepped into the boat. “O you of little faith,” Jesus said, “why did you doubt?”
When we take our eyes off Jesus, we always sink. God reminds us to make choices that will nourish our souls, such as frequent attendance at Mass, frequent reception of the sacraments, spending more time in prayer and reading the Bible, and being more generous in serving others who are in need. Like taking daily doses of vitamins and eating a healthy diet, all these religious practices add up, feeding our souls, helping us to stay close to Christ, and enabling us to grow in holiness. In the tumult of each day, we can be tempted to avert our gaze from Christ and back to our short-term comforts, financial security, and our focus on doing our own will. As Proverbs 4:23 reminds us, “Keep your heart with all vigilance; for from it flow the springs of life.”
Excerpted from Catholics Come Home pp. 76-77 by Tom Peterson. Copyright © 2013 by Thomas B. Peterson. Excerpted by permission of Image Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.