Many of us have prayed with Peter who cried out “Lord, save me!” or, in another gospel, “Lord, save me; I am perishing!” This is especially true when God calls us out of our comfort zone as he did when he said to Peter “Come.” One wonders whether Peter regretted his previous request, “Tell me to come to you across the water.” Peter was doing fine at first but then lost his footing and began to sink. Why? Perhaps it is because initially he kept his eyes fixed on Jesus who was the animator of his extraordinary journey across the turbulent waters. Or, should we say “the turbulent waters of life”? But then he lost his focus on Jesus and focused instead on himself and his precarious situation. Things fell apart.

Peter didn’t remember what Jesus had previously said, “Get hold of yourselves. It is I. Do not be afraid.” It is no wonder that the author of the Letter to the Hebrews gives a practical word of advice. In the twelfth chapter he suggests, “Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.” How can I put this advice more effectively into the fabric of my daily life?

—Fr. Jim Serrick, S.J. is a long-time musician, liturgist, and pastor. He currently serves at Colombiere Jesuit Center, Clarkston, MI.