Tuesday of 18th Week, uneven numbered year Mardi de la 18e semaine, année impaire

’Jesus spoke to them, ’Courage, it’s me! Don’t be afraid!’
Friday 10 July 2015

Nb. 12, 1-13 Ps. 50 Mt. 14, 22-36

Tuesday of 18th Week, Ordinary Time, uneven numbered year

’And at once Jesus made them get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he sent the crowds away. After sending the crowds away he went up into the hills by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, while the boat, by now some furlongs from land, was hard pressed by rough waves, for there was a head wind.’

In one of the most important moments of Jesus’ public life there is a scene of a vivacious storm.We can imagine the commotion on the boat when the sea was so rough that the boat was covered in waves. Lord, save us! We are lost! Jesus is there, praying when in our lives the wind blows violently and the sea is unleashed.. His prayer is imperturbable. He wants us to act. God is present in the heart of our live and we can ask Him to act. We know that He will act through us, we have to clothe us with his way of being and his way of acting. It is the Holy Spirit who will have us act like Christ. Whatever the storms are that we go through, Jesus will act providing that we truly do believe in Him. Jesus’ Mystery continues in His Church. Jesus gets into the boat and his disciples follow Him, it is the image of the Church, the Good Shepherd is there amidst his disciples. We know that this is the symbol of his world tossed around, as for the Church, she pursues her work in the middle of he world.

’In the fourth watch of the night he came towards them, walking on the sea, and when the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. ’It is a ghost’, they said, and cried out in fear. But at once Jesus called out to them, saying, ’Courage! It’s me! Don’t be afraid!’ It was peter who answered, ’Lord, he said, ’if it is you, tell me to come to you across the water. ’Jesus said, ’Come.’ then Peter got out of the boat and started walking towards Jesus across the water, but then noticing the wind, he took fright and began to sink. ’Lord, ’he cried, ’Save me!’ Jesus put out his hand at once and held him. ’You have so little faith, ’he said, ’Why did you doubt? ’And as they got into the boat, the wind dropped.“His companions went up to him and woke him up, saying, ’Lord, save us! We are lost!’ Jesus calls on the wind and the sea and there is complete stillness. This dramatic atmosphere reveals to us Jesus’ personality. The storm is still grumbling and the disciples are still filled with fear. Jesus simply gets up, ’calls on the sea and wind and there is a great calm.’ Jesus gives the order and there is stillness again. This peace was not just to be on the stormy waters : the Word of Jesus had especially the aim to pacify the disciples’ fearful heart. ’Why were you afraid, man of little faith?’ for they cried out, ’Lord, we ’re perishing! save us! ’ Jesus’ response is none the less surprising : ’Why be afraid, man of little faith?’ Jesus gets up, the sea becomes calm and they are all taken by surprise. ’So who is he that even the sea and winds obey him?’”The men in the boat bowed down before him and said, ’Truly, you are the Son of God!’ Having made the crossing, they came to a land at Gennesaret. When the local people recognized him they spread the news through the whole neighborhood and took all that were sick to him, begging him just to let them touch the fringe of hos cloak. And all those that touched it were saved."

The disciples passed from being disturbed and frightened to a state of admiration for what they had seen happen is something unbelievable. Surprise, amazement, marv elment when faced with such a turn about of events, brings up essential questions in their hearts and minds :’’So who is this man that sea and wind obey him?’ Who is this man who can calm storms in the sky on earth and at the same time those in men’s’ hearts? Only the one who sleeping like a man in a boat can give orders to the winds and to the sea like God does.’ When we feel we might fall, let us not forget that Jesus is God made man, close to us in faith. Jesus is present in an invisible, hidden way. He is there. ’He doesn’t sleep, the guardian of Israel!’ No, he really is Present, here with us. These disciples, who want to awaken him, is in each one of us. Also the pastors of the Church who panic when there is the violence of the wind, and in front of these waves! But Jesu is here. And can we be afraid when he is there? ’Men of little faith’, said Jesus. Jesus continues his work. He wants his disciples, his ministers to calm the sea and wind because he himself has given them the power to do so.

Let us ask for the grace to situate ourselves in confidence in the one on whom we depend completely, God, who takes such good care of us.