A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 6: 16-21
When it was evening, the disciples of Jesus went down to the sea, embarked in a boat, and went across the sea to Capernaum. It had already grown dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea was stirred up because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they began to be afraid. But he said to them, "It is I. Do not be afraid." They wanted to take him into the boat, but the boat immediately arrived at the shore to which they were heading.
REFLECTION: “But he said to them, "It is I. Do not be afraid."”
It is hard to imagine the disciples, who were seasoned fishermen, being afraid since they faced rough seas before and were familiar with Jesus performing miracles. I have had my fair share of being afraid of things, such as running into a rattlesnake or bear while hiking in nature. As a child growing up with ten brothers and sisters, I was always surrounded by people, so it was unusual for me to be by myself. Eventually, I discovered I was afraid of being alone. As most young children I was afraid of the dark, but the weird thing that terrified me was a picture of a swordfish jumping free of dark choppy water. Yes, that is right, a swordfish. I have never been in a seafaring boat nor have I seen a live swordfish, but when I was young, my sister showed me a picture of this swordfish jumping out of rough seas. I have no explanation of why terror shook me whenever I saw this dark picture, but it did. Unfortunately for me, my sister got a kick out of frightening me with that swordfish picture.
Jesus is full of surprises and I don’t think his intention was to scare his disciples like my sister wanted to scare me. However, Jesus miraculously walks on water, challenging the disciple’s faith and courage. He was again setting the stage for his disciples to understand who He is and the ultimate power of God. He is calling for the disciples to replace fear with faith in Him. As soon as the disciples knew it was Jesus, “They wanted to take him into the boat”. However, Jesus saw to it that they immediately reached their destination, having no need to give Him a ride.
What is in your life that makes you afraid? Is it a recurring fear that you can replace with faith? We should pray for faith and surrender to his Way. Trust in Jesus and He will get us to our destination without us realizing it.
Let us pray for priest to treasure the gift of obedience with complete trust in God’s will.