APRIL 17. EASTER WEEK 2. SAT. JOHN 6. 16-21
Updated: Aug 29
In the evening the disciples went down to the shore of the lake and got into a boat to make for Capernaum on the other side of the lake. It was getting dark by now and Jesus had still not rejoined them. The wind was strong, and the sea was getting rough. They had rowed three or four miles when they saw Jesus walking on the lake and coming towards the boat. This frightened them, but he said, ‘It is I. Do not be afraid.’ They were for taking him into the boat, but in no time it reached the shore at the place they were making for.
This Gospel is widely recognised within the Church as being an illustration of the journey of earthly life, with rough seas often being experienced; - and Jesus then coming to our aid.
It certainly contains all the ingredients that apply to our earthly journey, with a boat being a vehicle used to travel from one point to another, and there being many dangers along the way.
The first illustration that is relevant it that “Jesus was not with them” and it was getting dark. That is a wonderful and accurate description of how we often feel on our earthly journey; - alone and without God! But it is also an opportunity to bear witness to our Love and our Faith!
And “The wind was strong, and the sea was getting rough!” O how relevant that is to the way we often feel on the pilgrimage of life; - alone and abandoned?
However, it must also be acknowledged the sea, at times, can also be calm and peaceful; - and at such times, we can feel very close to God; - and it is easy to love and serve him; - but sadly the circumstances of life are constantly changing between a rough sea and a calm sea!
This is how God has chosen to deal with his people during the journey of life, and we see an indication of this in the transfiguration, when some Apostles were given the wonderful experience of seeing Christ Transfigured; - but this was to prepare them for what they were to see on Calvary!
The truth is that, as creatures, we need this regular switching from “feeling close” to “feeling abandoned”; - as if either experience was constant, it would impact negatively on our journey.
Regularly feeling close to God would lead to pride and self-love, while regular feelings of abandonment or desolation would lead to despair; - and God knows this!
And this is where we need Faith, Prayer, Sacrament, and Grace; (and the Motherly Care of Mary) - as these are what sustain us when the sea becomes rough; - and they allow us to have an intimate relationship with God when the sea is calm; - and to have Faith when it is turbulent!
During the Journey of Life, we need to experience periods of intimacy with God, and we also need to experience desolation, as the first encourages us to persevere on the journey, while the second allows us to bear witness to our Faith and Trust and Hope; - in God’s Mercy and Love!
If the sea was constantly calm and peaceful, we would begin to trust in ourselves, an option that is a constant danger; - while if the sea was constantly turbulent, we could easily lose Hope!
God is a Loving Creator and he knows what each of us need, and he treats us accordingly; - but he also expects us to acknowledge him as our creator; - to give him our love, and to honour him with our Trust and Obedience; - and to do so within our personal God-given circumstances!
Gospel Acclamation Rom6:9
Christ is risen, the Lord of all creation;
He has shown pity on all people.
First reading Acts 6:1-7 · They elected seven men full of the Holy Spirit
About this time, when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenists made a complaint against the Hebrews: in the daily distribution their own widows were being overlooked. So the Twelve called a full meeting of the disciples and addressed them, ‘It would not be right for us to neglect the word of God so as to give out food; you, brothers, must select from among yourselves seven men of good reputation, filled with the Spirit and with wisdom; we will hand over this duty to them, and continue to devote ourselves to prayer and to the service of the word.’ The whole assembly approved of this proposal and elected Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus of Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.
The word of the Lord continued to spread: the number of disciples in Jerusalem was greatly increased, and a large group of priests made their submission to the faith.