Gospel: John 6:16-21
When evening came, the disciples went down to the shore. After a while, they got into a boat to make for Capernaum on the other side of the sea, for it was now dark and Jesus had not yet come to them. But the sea was getting rough because a strong wind was blowing.
They had rowed about three or four miles, when they saw Jesus walking on the sea, and he was drawing near to the boat. They were frightened, but he said to them, “It is I! Don’t be afraid!”
They wanted to take him into the boat, but immediately, the boat was at the shore to which they were going.
“Don’t be afraid!”
The disciples go ahead of Jesus even as they see the sea is getting rough. They are facing a danger. Not only that, it is becoming dark. They decide by themselves to go ahead. Jesus is still praying some- where. He has just finished feeding the crowd and dismissed them.
As they make a little progress, while they negotiate in the dark, their boat battered by waves caused by the strong wind, they notice someone walking towards them. They find it more terrifying. Jesus immediately assures them, it is he. They should not be afraid. Without knowing it, they reach their destiny, Capernaum, their mission headquarters. Jesus catches up with them.
Journey can be rough when Jesus is absent. Yet when he makes his presence felt and we take his words, “Don’t be afraid,” we are sure we will be out of danger. Our fear increases when we mistake Jesus for a ghost, someone who terrifies us rather than help us get out of the situation. Jesus assures us of his saving presence even if we misidentify him. He understands our frailties. Jesus does not make a harsh remark as in other gospels that record, “Where is your faith?”
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