WEDNESDAY AFTER EPIPHANY JANUARY 8, 2020
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark 6:45-52
After the five thousand had eaten and were satisfied, Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side toward Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. And when he had taken leave of them, he went off to the mountain to pray. When it was evening, the boat was far out on the sea and he was alone on shore. Then he saw that they were tossed about while rowing, for the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them. But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out. They had all seen him and were terrified. But at once he spoke with them, “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!” He got into the boat with them and the wind died down. They were completely astounded. They had not understood the incident of the loaves. On the contrary, their hearts were hardened.
REFLECTION: “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!”
During my residency days, I felt many times abandoned by my chief resident. The policy in training was to see your chief do a procedure, then you do it. So when the chief resident walked away after showing me only once how to obtain arterial blood gases, I felt abandoned and frustrated. Did he not know I was just on day 1 as an intern? He did, however, come back several times, to see if I was surviving. And I did.
After feeding the 5000 to satisfaction, Our Lord made His disciples get into the boat to precede Him. And when they left, Jesus went off to the mountain to pray. Jesus did notice that they were tossed around having trouble rowing, yet He continued praying. Finally about 3-6 AM He went to join them but intended to walk pass them. And then they got scared thinking they saw a ghost and finally He said, “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!”.
Why did Jesus intend to walk pass them? We find ourselves in many situations that we have no control or understanding. We fear the outcome of our trials. Here we see Jesus eager for the apostles to leave Him. He needed to be alone and pray with His Father. Yet, He kept an eye on them and was aware of their situation on the sea. Then noticing that they were still having trouble, walked on water toward them.
Though we know that we are always under God's watch, sometimes we feel left alone in a cold world. We don't feel the hugs, love, nor the companionship of another. We can, however, become strong, courageous and totally abandoned to God's will whether we perceive God is near or whether He withdraws. We do this by getting closer to God by spending silent time praying. God will never leave us alone though we, at times, do not feel His presence. God is always with us. He will be with us throughout our journey to our eternal reward.