The great salvation plan of God involves two things: The first one is God’s participation in our humanity and the second is our participation in the divine life in God. This relationship between God and humankind is the whole point of Genesis. Instead of reading it just as a narrative of the origin of the universe, we also read it as man’s original purpose in having a life of faith. It’s about our dependence on God as Creator and our purpose as creatures created in God’s image and likeness. This relationship, however, was broken ever since man’s first fall into sin. But God, in His mercy and goodness, wants to restore us to Him and made a promise to save humanity from its fall from a state of grace.
This brings us to God’s participation in our humanity. God did this by sending us His Son Jesus Christ, the Messiah, who, by becoming a human being, conquered death, sin and the devil in order to reconcile us back to the Heavenly Father and for us to have eternal life in Him. “Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4).
It’s important that we recognize God becoming man in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ: “though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:6-8). And, it’s equally important that we say our ‘Yes’ to God and share in His divine life which begins with being baptized into the family of God, in the renunciation of sin, and in living a life of grace, purity and holiness.
It should inspire awe within us to come to know that we have a God who stoops to the level of human beings in order for human beings to be elevated to God’s divine nature. “Who is like the Lord our God, who is seated on high, who looks far down on the heavens and the earth? He raises the poor from the dust, and lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people” (Psalm 113:5-8). We must know this because this is where we tend to fail… We are too enamored with the God who saves, who performs miracles, who blesses, who gives and gives and gives, that we forget the hard choices we have to make to allow God to make that happen. We are forgetting our “Yes”, our “Amen”, our share in God’s invitation to save us.
In the Gospel from Matthew 14:22-33, we are given the story of Jesus Christ walking on water. By showing His power over creation, Jesus proves He is God and He is above all. He said, while on the water, “It is I am” (John 6:20), which is the same Divine Name God revealed to Moses “I am who I am” (Exodus 3:14). And, Jesus did not just stand on the water to be seen. When Peter saw Him, Jesus made an invitation for him to “Come” (Matthew 14:29). God is not Someone to be looked at, to be studied or to be meditated upon from a distance. Jesus invites us to Him and to share in His life. Jesus said, “Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24)
To be with Jesus is to be on top of the water. Water, is symbolized in the Bible, as one that is dangerous, wild, and deadly. What is the worst kind of death than sin? Just like Peter, we must go to Christ in agreement with God’s saving plan. We agree to receiving His grace, to receiving His spiritual gifts, and to receiving His kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy. Just like Peter, who said, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you” (Matthew 14:28), we must also come to Christ with no hesitation, no reservation, no fear.
But somewhere in our journey toward Christ, we start getting distracted. We look to the celebrities, to the politicians, to the intellectual philosophers or scientists, to the powerful business leaders of our time to decide for our future. We consult horoscopes, fortune tellers, tarot card readers, witches, and false prophets to know about our future. We lose ourselves to worldly desires without realizing how much they’re making us sick in our body, mind and spirit. We go for many things, except Christ, until we find ourselves sinking in our sicknesses, our failed relationships, our debts, and many other troubles.
This is why a life of prayer is important. It connects us to our ultimate power source, which is God, so that we can walk over life’s troubles, temptations, and trials. Before Jesus manifested His power of walking on water, “he went up the mountain by himself to pray” (Matthew 14:23). He spent the whole night in prayer. If God prays, so should we! Our prayer may not make us literally walk on top of any water but we could walk over and conquer anything that makes us fall out of God’s grace.