The sporadic ramblings of Emily C. A. Snyder - devoted to God, theatre, writing, and much randominity.

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Location: New York, New York, United States

Artistic Director and Co-Founder of TURN TO FLESH PRODUCTIONS. | Author of "Nachtstürm Castle," "Niamh and the Hermit." | Playwright: "Cupid and Psyche," "Math for Actors." | Classical director and educator.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Walking on Water

First, an amazing article. If you wonder why priests need to devote the whole of themselves to ministry, check out: The Cafeteria Is Closed: Portrait of a young priest.

Next, wrenched Mom and myself to mass again this morning. And, lo and behold - despite wearing jeans and my Hamlet t-shirt - the seminarian Marty asked me if I'd be willing to lecture. I was more than willing - I love lecturing (OK, no teacher jokes here. Seriously, I mean it) at mass - because I feel I more fully participate. And the windows across from me are beautiful. And it's an awesome privilege to be up there wit Him. Anywho - so I said yes. And it was good. And I sang the "Tantum Ergo" while everyone received communion. I considered singing the Reponsorial Psalm (you're technically supposed to), but the congregation seemed decidedly non-singy.

While going over to Mass, Mom actually gave me a mini-homily about the Gospel for today. Yesterday, we began with Jesus having just learnt that his cousin, John the Baptist, had been gorily beheaded by Herod. Naturally, Jesus is more than a little grieved by this and he tries to go away to pray and get Himself together. But the crowds follow Him, and He sees them and has pity on them and voila multiplies the loaves and fishes.

That done, that evening Jesus dismisses the crowd and dismisses the apostles and sets off high into the mountains to pray. Apparently, He's up all night, when somewhere between 3-6 a.m. He knows that the waves are choppy and that His apostles are out fishing - even though He's several miles from the water, and they're several MILES out into the water! He shows up and even though the sea is roiling, begins walking towards them.

The apostles are totally spooked by this. They shout "It's a ghost!" (See, Hamlet creeps in everywhere!) and completely freak out. (I can see them now, big old brawny guys, weeping like babies, grabbing hold of each other, gibbering - it's been a rough day. Anywho....) Jesus calls out to them, and Peter - good old Pete - says, "No! It's the master!" And then, being a smart dude (at least at this moment) he says, "Master, if it is You, bid me step onto the waters and walk to You!"

Now seriously, if that were me, and I thought this might possibly be a ghost, I wouldn't ask it to prove itself to me by asking me to do something fatal. But Pete the Impetuous does. Jesus says, "C'mon out! The water's fine!" and Pete steps out of the boat and starts walking on the water.

Let me reiterate: PETER WALKS ON WATER He does it. He's stepping on the stormy waves. He's moseying about. He's like "la la la walkin' on the water, no biggie. Hey Jesus, wazzup?"

Of course, a minute after that his brain kicks in and he's like "I'm walking on the wha...?"

But, as Mom pointed out, we often focus on Peter's lack of faith - but he did it, he walked on that water (and remember the boat was several miles out and we don't know how far Jesus had gotten). He had the faith to believe that it was the Master, and then to follow His instruction, and to do the impossible.

And then, yes, his so-called "practical" brain kicks in - the doubting one, the one that says, "You can't do this." The faith-slayer. And he sinks. Again, as Mom pointed out, when we sink, we don't sink slowly. If we go under - we plunge.

BUT, then it says that immediately He was there and lifted Peter up. (Jesus really must have been jacked - we have the bones of good old Pete and he was no small pickings!) Immediately. And they walk back to the boat together. Walk back to the boat on the stormy seas.

So, God, that's what I'm claiming. I'm not as great as St. Pete, but there are stormy seas here, God, and I've been walking just fine and now I'm staring down and going "What am I doing? This is an impossible thing!" But immediately You are here, I claim it.

I'm guessing Peter was shaking on his walk back with Jesus. Big old burly Pete. I just love that man. A man of infinite faith and infinite stupidity. St. Pete, pray for me for that sort of stupid faith that lets me walk on water. Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief. Amen.

Mood: Graced
Music: On Your Porch
Thought: What's left to lose/You've done enough/And if you fail/Well then you fail/But not to us
Really should have: Recorded Polonius, Laertes, et al saying "No! Really! I love tech week!"


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