Do not be afraid!
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, 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. (Mark 6:45-52)
Some days we may seem to glide through life without a worry or concern. Other days, perhaps for no obvious reason, we find life a slog, a bit like wading through mud or, like the disciples in the boat, rowing against the wind. In addition to this they have recently witnessed a miracle worked by Jesus but they couldn’t work it out. Their minds were closed. Yes, sometimes, life can be confusing and our understanding of Christ can be challenged. And yet he speaks those words to us as to those first disciples, “Courage! It is I! Do not be afraid!” Perhaps we need to be more attentive at times to the presence and words of Jesus, as he steps into our fears to bring us peace.
God our loving Father, when we row against the wind, give us a vision of Jesus and open our ears to hear his words of comfort. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.