One of the hardest parts of Christianity is one of the simplest parts. Faith. And nothing illustrates this better than this week’s Sunday Gospel of Peter and the walking on water.

Then he made the disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone. Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.

During the fourth watch of the night,he came toward them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. “It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear. At once (Jesus) spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”  Peter said to him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”  He said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.  But when he saw how (strong) the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”  After they got into the boat, the wind died down.  Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying, “Truly, you are the Son of God.”

Think of St. Peter, here is a man who had a front row seat to the miracles of Christ, who has being seeing wonder after wonder. Who literally just saw Christ multiply the loafs and the fishes to feed thousands and now sees Christ walking on the water, is invited to do the same and then after managing a few steps…doubts and begins to sink.

Nor of course is this the only case  of Peter failing , even after the transfiguration, after Christ has given him the keys to heaven and declared that he is the rock upon who his church is going to be built, he still denies Christ and remember it wasn’t until he saw Christ going to Rome to be crucified again that he turned back to accept his will (Quo Vadis Domine)

It’s much like Exodus which I’m in the process of reading during my daily scripture. Here you have the children of Israel who saw all the mighty deeds of God in Egypt, who saw the Red Sea parted and when the water ran low still doubted God as if he would do all of these things only to kill them off completely.

These examples are vital, because they show us that the weakness of both Peter and the Children of Israel are not unnatural, and if they are not unnatural with those who have seen, how much more common is this a problem for those who have not?

In our Christian, lives how many times have we, knowing God’s commandments, knowing right from wrong chosen the wrong anyway? How many times have we failed to trust God, to worship God, to pray as he tells us to (“Ask and you shall receive“) and to persist in prayer.

Nor is this confined simply to Christian actions: How many times do we do things when we know better? How often have we acted impulsively, or foolishly when we knew that these actions had bad consequences? This is a problem that goes beyond religion, it’s a completely human weakness.

God understands this weakness. Knowing we are sinful, he provides Christ to die for our sins and redeem us. Knowing that we are flawed he provides the example of Mary conceived without sin as our mother to pray and intercede for us with her son as only a mother can. Knowing we are weak he provides the examples of both scripture and tradition to see how he has over and over used those who are weak and provided them strength and finally, knowing we are different is so many ways he provides us with the saints, people like us from all different walks of life we managed, even if they stumbled initially to find their way to God and are willing to help their brothers along that same path pointing the way to Christ.

That is the significance of the story of Peter and Christ walking on water that and one more thing.

Never forget that before he took the time to admonish Peter for the lack of faith he first reached out his hand. May we be willing to see and grasp that outstretched hand of God when it is offered.

CanadaBy John Ruberry

For over five years President Obama has been dithering in regards to building the Keystone XL pipeline, which if constructed, will bring petroleum from the oil sands in western Canada to America’s heartland.

Over in Iraq, Obama is utilizing token measures in an attempt to slow the terror group ISIS and to give some relief to the religious minorities being attacked by the Islamo-fascists.

For the time being, ISIS seems content in selling oil, earning $3 million per day. But the jiadists appear to crazed enough to destroy oil fields, which would–duh!–drive up the price of oil.

Which is why America needs to lessen its dependence on oil from the Middle East.

There is much at home Obama can do. Rather than bow to his environmentalist donors, the president can expedite the approval of drilling and fracking on federally-owned land and open up more of our continental shelf to oil exploration. Obama can also alter the tone of his administration, which is decidedly anti-fossil fuel.

We don’t know if the president took an economics course at Occidental or Columbia because he hasn’t released his college transcripts, but the macroeconomic equation is simple. More petroleum in the marketplace means cheaper oil.

John "Lee" Ruberry
John “Lee” Ruberry

More drilling and fracking in American means more jobs. Building the Keystone XL pipeline also means more good-paying jobs.

The Obama recovery is dominated by low-paying, low-skilled, and part-time positions.

Obama has to ask himself if  he will be burdened by leftist ideology for the remaining two-and-a-half years of his presidency–or will he be a leader?

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Chief Wild Eagle: This funny country, once only buffalo live here, Indian come, then paleface come, now paleface give $300 for land Indian take away from buffalo…could only happen in America.

F Troop Iron Horse Go Home 1965

Rick: Well there are certain sections of New York, Major, that I wouldn’t advise you to try to invade.

Casablanca 1942

One of them most fateful decisions in history was the Arab population of what would be the state of Israel taking the advice of the various states preparing to go to war to leave the newly created state of Israel on the theory that they would only be gone a short time because said armies would easily slaughter those few and pesky Jews of Israel.

Unfortunately for those arabs not only did Israel defeat every Arab army arrayed against them but while Israel happily absorbed every Jew who was subsequently expelled from the surrounding lands and granted the Arabs who stayed citizenship the arabs who left were purposely left in limbo to serve the purpose of those defeated nations. 50 years later they are still treated like pariahs and used as pawns by folks like Hamas.

As long as the various arabs states see profit in keeping the Gazans under the thumb of Hamas and never developing anything beyond fodder for their eternal war with Israel they aren’t going anywhere.

But the Arab states are not the whole world. What if we let them come…here.

Even after 6 years of Obama a large chunk of the world dreams of coming to America, given that we are dealing with millions of illegal aliens plus the new batch of kids 1.8 million Gazans would be a piece of cake to absorb. As long as people aren’t on a terror list I see no reasons why they can’t come here.

EVen more interesting one could work out a deal where technically Israel would “lease” Gaza for say 99 years renewable at their option for 99 more and the monies of said lease be a subsidy payment (think of it as the Alaska oil payments) to the ex citizens of Gaza for the use of the land.

Israel gets a secure southern border and removes a terror threat, The Gazans get a chance for they and their children to and live and grow and create an actual future for themselves as millions of other have in America, the brass ring for most people in the world and best of all those former residents of Gaza get to feel, live worship and say what they actually think without worrying about being shot or stabbed or crushed for doing so. While I would advice against it they can even choose to still hate the Jews if they wish (we haven’t yet reached the point of outlawing wrong feelings) as long as they leave them alone.

Culturally there would be some adjustments but time would take care of that, there would be some expense and I’m sure more than a few people would not be thrilled at these people coming here, after all one might worry some of these guys are dangerous, but there is one thing you have to remember, Americans, like Israelis are very heavily armed and like Israelis know how to defend themselves

In the end I think it’s the best solution to the problem and I suspect the Gazans will be a lot less trouble for America here then they are over there, in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if they absolutely thrived here and were able to make the Singapore here that Hamas wouldn’t allow them to make there.

If someone has a better one that doesn’t involve mass slaughter I’d be delighted to hear it but I suspect the Arab states would cry foul, it would remove half of their casus belli vs Israel and if Israel turned Gaza into a thriving commercial and recreational paradise the terrorists would never forgive them.