From the Word of the Day
When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened. But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading. (John 6: 19-21)
We marvel at Jesus walking on water. Jesus is fully human but also fully Lord of the cosmos, and therefore, truly God. However, for those poor fishermen who were His disciples, familiarity with the sea was of another kind and never outside any limits or measure. Thus, we can understand the experience of fear that they felt in the boat.
I think that when Jesus said, “It is I”, it was as though the great ‘I AM’, the name of the Highest God that Jesus reserved to Himself in other passages, the ‘lake’ itself was filled with even higher waves. What is most striking is the uniting of the revealed expression “It is I” with the tender words, “Do not fear” that reassure the disciples who were simple and good people but uncultured and very far from having the courage of lions. Their hearts were calmed and they “took Him into the boat”, freed from fear.
Lord, even my life is sometimes tossed by the fearsome waves of every kind of problem. This is life: not a lovely outing but a commitment and an exercise of love. Help me to understand deeply that I need to ‘take You into my boat’, to become familiar with the thought of Your Presence in my heart. It is Your Presence that reassures me, gives me peace, and enables me to be concrete and courageous in loving.
The Voice of St. Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
The world was born of love; it is sustained by love; it goes toward love; and enters into love.