“Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid” – these are the words of Jesus addressed to the terrified apostles. The apostles are rowing in a boat on the stormy waters of the lake of Gennesaret. They are experienced sailors and fishermen. Yet, this situation is out of their control, for their boat is “tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.” It is exactly at that moment that our Lord Jesus enters the stage. Rather, He walks toward them on the waters of the lake. However, they have little faith and still cannot believe it is the Lord; they are afraid and disheartened. So Jesus consoles them and assures them of His Divine assistance. With faith in Jesus’ words they are able to overcome their fears and to believe in miracles so that Simon Peter can even walk on the water with the Lord.
This Sunday’s gospel reading is addressed to all of us who experience fear and anxiety on daily basis. We must remember that fear and anxiety belong to the basic human condition after the fall and the present situation of the pandemic and the looming economic crisis only bring to the surface our frailty. It seems that we are in the midst of the storm, and many of us may even feel seriously imperiled by the current circumstances. Like the apostles we too often cry out to God out of fear. We too are full of doubts of the presence of the Lord.
The boat with the apostles is also often viewed as the Church of God tossed about by the winds of times. Certainly, many Catholics feel like being a rocky boat that is about to sink, for the winds are against it. The Church in our times has to face so many challenges that undermine Her authority causing many faithful to abandon their believes rather than stick to basic faith in Christ Jesus. Whether individually or as the Church, our role is only to cry out to God, that is, we must fervently pray so that Jesus may calm the stormy seas and to bring us to the safe shores of true faith. Yes, Jesus also comes to us walking on the stormy water of our troubled times. But we will experience His Presence only when we activate faith and invite Him to our hearts and homes.
Jesus will also make us walk on the water. For to believe in Jesus and do everything He tells us is like walking on the water – “we walk by faith not by sight.” People may even look at us and say that we are crazy. But as long as we do not doubt but fix our gaze on Christ we will be strong and safe in spirit, that is, we will be on the safe path to salvation.
Have a blessed week.
Fr. Janusz Mocarski, Administrator