Wednesday after Epiphany
1st Reading: 1Jn 4:11-18
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us. This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us, that he has given us of his Spirit. Moreover, we have seen and testify that the Father sent his Son as savior of the world. Whoever acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him and he in God. We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him. In this is love brought to perfection among us, that we have confidence on the day of judgment because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.
Gospel: Mk 6:45-52
After the five thousand had eaten and were satisfied, Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side toward Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. And when he had taken leave of them, he went off to the mountain to pray. When it was evening, the boat was far out on the sea and he was alone on shore. Then he saw that they were tossed about while rowing, for the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them. But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out. They had all seen him and were terrified. But at once he spoke with them, “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!” He got into the boat with them and the wind died down. They were completely astounded. They had not understood the incident of the loaves. On the contrary, their hearts were hardened.
HE SAW THAT THEY WERE TOSSED: God is aware of the troubles that fill us with fear and anxiety to the extent that we fail to see Him coming to our aid. The disciples in today’s readings are in such fear. Jesus invites them to see and trust in Him. We too are called to see God, more so during moments of intense pain and anxiety. Jesus is coming towards us as he did with the disciples. He loves and cares for us as he loved and cared for the disciples. His purpose is to help and save us, as he helped and saved the disciples. Christ has the power to rebuke the winds in our lives. He is the real Emmanuel – God with us. He desires to be part of our struggles, and pains, but only when we allow Him. We are not alone.
Prayer: Lord help us to recognize you in all situations of life, and trust in your presence.
GOD IN THE STORMS: The event before this passage is the feeding of the five thousand with five loaves and two fish, a great miracle; they could have stayed there for a long time, receiving fame, praise, good treatment and be very comfortable. But Jesus wanted to show them his glory. Jesus tells them to go to the other side and He knew that in the middle of that lake His disciples were going to experience the glory of God – not in the comfortable shore, but in the middle of the storm. There is no glory if we do not first pass through the Cross, there is no victory if there are no battles first, there is no revival without trials. Many times, we will have storms in life, both physical and spiritual, where the presence of God will not be apparent. It seems that we cannot find God in the storm. Many times, God is going to send us into a storm of trials, to free us from a storm of temptations. Jesus is more interested in our spiritual growth than in our personal comfort.
MIGHTY EAGLE SOARS HIGH BUT THE SPARROW IS SEEN WAY BELOW: Jesus follows up the multiplication of bread with yet another miracle. He walks on the sea and calms it. The disciples who hours ago had surrounded him at the multiplication of bread could not identify His figure walking on the sea. Instead they saw a ghost! In a similar way, when we are tossed up in the tumultuous sea we often find ourselves lost and without direction. Life becomes a continuous battle with evil forces. In such circumstances, Christians who seem religious, who perform the requirements of the church, honest to the demands of the laws are seen lacking in God experience. In our world, this lack of God experience is seen in our cravings and in our selfish agenda. Am I stuck in my little evil world of self-gratification to a point that I fail to see the great light shining beside me? Let us soar high, keep our sight high on God our life’s aim; let us not settle on being sparrows.