There were a couple of old phrases that passed through my mind this past week: it never rains, but pours and be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.  The reason for this was the rain we received as a result of Tropical Storm Isaias.  While Vermont has been struggling with a hotter-than-average summer and a deficit of rain, many have been praying for rain and cooler weather.  Well, the prayers worked maybe too well.  In a very short period of time, several inches of rain fell over a good portion of our state, causing some flooding and damage.  While the rains was needed, it would have been a lot better if it had arrived over the period of several days, not several hours.  Well, some are still cleaning up after the storm and preparing for the last few weeks of summer.

The Gospel this past weekend could also be seen as an example of being careful what you ask for.  Peter challenges the Lord to call him from the boat in the midst of the storm.  The Lord obliges and calls Peter out of the boat and onto the stormy sea.  Things are OK for a bit, but Peter falters because he takes his eyes off the Lord and focuses on the storm.  As he sinks into the water he cries out and is saved.  Peter got what he asked for but it didn’t quite work out the way he expected.

How often in our lives of faith do we ask for something from the Lord and it comes to us in a way we didn’t quite expect?  We pray for patience and immediately we find ourselves in a never-ending line of traffic.  We pray for a charitable heart and we find ourselves facing a person begging for money.  We pray for wisdom and find ourselves with a problem impossible to solve.  Like Peter, we find ourselves flailing and feeling like we are sinking in the troubles of life.  Our prayers seem to not work out.

This is where we need to remember the most important lesson of the Gospel, like Peter when our prayers seem to go unanswered, when life seems to be going downhill fast, when it seems as if the storm is about to overwhelm us, we need to cry out to the Lord to be saved.  The Gospel is not about walking on water in the midst of a storm on our own, it is about relying on Jesus to sustain us in the storm.  On our own, we sink, with Christ, we conquer the storm.

This week let’s focus more of Christ and less on the storms in our lives, and if we are struggling, call out for Him to save us.

In Christ,

Msgr. John McDermott

vicar general