Wednesday after Epiphany, Jan 6

1 John 4:11-18 / Mark 6:45-52

Jesus walks on the water; The disciples were utterly confused.

Mark, Matthew, and John describe Jesus' walking on water right after the miracle of the loaves and fishes. These two back-to-back events leave the disciples totally confused, They are amazed by both events, but they aren't absolutely sure what they means. This much is certain. After these two events, things were never the same for Jesus' disciples. Something beyond their wildest dreams was happening. Only time would tell what it was and how they fitted into it all. For the present, all they could do was to be patient.


How do we cope with times of confusion in our faith relationship with Jesus? "Faith is building on what you know is here so that you can reach out to what you know is there." Cullen


Both today’s readings bring out another contrast: love and fear. We have nothing to fear, not because we are without sin but because God loves us as we are, on account of Jesus. The apostles are still afraid, because they do not really know yet who Jesus is, the one who overcame evil and death, and therefore all fears. 


The word "ghost" will certainly give rise to uncomfortable feelings and scary thoughts, and certainly we won't want to hear "ghost stories" at night and have nightmares. As it is generally understood, ghost may mean an apparition of a dead person that is believed to appear or become manifested to the living in some kind of vague, unclear, hazy or ill-defined image. 

In the gospel, the disciples in the boat thought that Jesus was a ghost when they saw His walking in the water. Added on to that, the wind was strong and the sea was rough and we can assume that they were trying to stay afloat and certainly all was not calm and peaceful.


In such chaotic moments, logic and rationale usually gives way to fear and anxiety and inevitably the imagination would run wild, so even though it was Jesus, the disciples thought that it was something scary. Yet the 1st reading tells us that where there is love there is no fear. Yes, God loves us and we belong to Him. God's love is perfect and His perfect love drives out all fear, because to fear is to expect punishment, and anyone who is afraid is still imperfect in love. So, when all around us is in turmoil and in chaos, let us be still and be calm. Let us be still and know that God loves us. 

May God's love drive out from us all that cause us to fear and be anxious and to worry. May God's love also grant us peace of heart so that we will grow in love.


Prayer: Lord God, loving Father, fear runs in our blood. We are often afraid of facing the future, of committing ourselves to one another, even of trusting ourselves, our emotions, and the forces slumbering within us. Convince us that there is nothing to fear and that you love us as we are, for you are our Father and you have given us your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.