“Take courage, it is I…do not be afraid.”
Jesus and the disciples had been ministering to the crowds, and it was now time to “move on”. The disciples were to precede Jesus by boat to the other side of the sea while Jesus dismissed the crowds and spent some brief moments in prayer. During their late-night journey by boat on the sea, the disciples were tossed about by the wind and waves – and their own experience of Jesus’ challenging ministry. Coming across the water, Jesus approaches them and their all-too-human leader, Peter; they think they’re seeing a ghost… Jesus reassures them: “take courage, it is I…do not be afraid”. Their fears were calmed and they journeyed with Jesus as he ministered healing and teaching. The result: Jesus met the disciples’ fears, strengthened their faith – and Jesus’ mission continued!
Jesus speaks to our hearts today, inviting us to not be afraid as we courageously offer our lives in service of the Gospel message of love and reconciliation. We may be tossed about by the winds and waves of contemporary life (e.g. violence, indifference, laziness, selfishness, etc.) and yet God continues to inspire us in the faith-filled lives of our spiritual leaders and fellow companions on the journey. Let us prayerfully support one another.
Fr. John Schork, C.P. is the Vocation Director for Holy Cross Province. He lives at St. Vincent Strambi Community in Chicago, Illinois.