JAN. 6 CHRISTMAS SEASON. MK. 6. 45-52
Updated: Aug 22
After the five thousand had eaten and were filled, Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to Bethsaida, while he himself sent the crowd away. After saying goodbye to them he went off into the hills to pray. When evening came,o the boat was far out on the lake, and he was alone on the land. He could see they were worn out with rowing, for the wind was against them; and about the fourth watch of the night he came towards them, walking on the lake. He was going to pass them by, but when they saw him walking on the lake they thought it was a ghost and cried out; for they had all seen him and were terrified. But he at once spoke to them, and said, ‘Courage! It is I! Do not be afraid.’ Then he got into the boat with them, and the wind dropped. They were utterly and completely dumbfounded, because they had not seen what the miracle of the loaves meant; their minds were closed.
Like the hidden life, there is much in this reading that we are not informed about. All we are told is that Jesus “made his disciples get into the boat”, after which he “sent the crowd away”. It is very clear from this that Christ wanted time to be alone with God in Prayer.
I suspect this is an “event” that took place on a regular basis throughout Christ’s life, but it was not often documented in the Gospels because it involved “doing nothing?” And prayer does involve “sending everybody, and everything” away so we are then able to give our heart and mind to God, and also listen for his voice!
Not only was this “spending time alone with God in prayer” not reported often, but I think it would.have been the main activity of Christ throughout his earthly life, and especially during the thirty years of his hidden life, and it would have literally involved “doing nothing” but “being with God in Prayer”.
Notice also however, that as soon as his prayer was over, Christ was immediately concerned for the needs of others: “when evening came, the boat was far out on the lake, and he was alone on the land, and he could see that his disciples were worn out with rowing, for the wind was against them.”
And is this not also how Christians should conduct themselves; - giving regular times to prayer, but as soon as this sacred time is concluded; - then focus immediately on the needs of others?
This is how we live “The Great Commandment” by giving regular times to being alone with God, and then, as soon as our prayer is concluded, focusing on the needs of those around us?
Where there is a real danger for Christians is in giving time to Prayer, but as soon as our prayers are concluded, we focus on looking after ourselves,; - forgetting the second half of “The Great Commandment”; - To love and care for others!
It is very easy to overlook the simple truth Christ spent every moment of his life, not only teaching this Commandment; - but also “living” it, and we have just one example in this reading where, immediately after spending time in Prayer, Christ sought out his disciples and focused on “their needs!”
What we are discussing here is the hardest part of living the Christian Life; - the need to “Love” others, - together with its greatest obstacle; - a natural inclination to “love” and care for ourselves!
Which is why Christ issued a warning to anyone who was considering becoming one of his disciples: - “If anyone has a mind to come my way; - let him deny himself, take up his Cross, and follow me!” The primary Cross Christians must carry is putting the needs of others first!
Gospel Acclamation cf.1Tm3:16
Glory to Christ, who is proclaimed to the world;
glory from all who believe in him.
First reading 1 John 4:11-18 ·
As long as we love one another God's love will be complete in us
My dear people,
since God has loved us so much,
we too should love one another.
No one has ever seen God;
but as long as we love one another
God will live in us
and his love will be complete in us.
We can know that we are living in him
and he is living in us
because he lets us share his Spirit.
We ourselves saw and we testify
that the Father sent his Son
as saviour of the world.
If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God,
God lives in him, and he in God.
We ourselves have known and put our faith in
God’s love towards ourselves.
God is love
and anyone who lives in love lives in God,
and God lives in him.
Love will come to its perfection in us
when we can face the day of Judgement without fear;
because even in this world
we have become as he is.
In love there can be no fear,
but fear is driven out by perfect love:
because to fear is to expect punishment,
and anyone who is afraid is still imperfect in love.