Sorry for the late posting. Was way too busy to get this blog uploaded this morning. Keep my wife and I in your prayers this glorious day: my oldest son is having his first high-school party tonight. Is there such a thing as “teen proofing” a house?
Today in Catholic History:
† 617 – Birth of Donnán of Eigg, Celtic Christian martyr, patron saint of Eigg
† 1521 – Martin Luther speaks to the assembly at the Diet of Worms, refusing to recant his teachings.
† 1711 – Death of Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1678)
† 1865 – Birth of Ursula Julia Ledochowska, Polish-Austrian Catholic saint (d. 1939), and
†The Liturgical Feast days of the following Catholic saints: Pope Anicetus (died 166), Saint Stephen Harding (d. 1134), and Simeon Barsabae and companions
Today’s reflection is Jesus walking on the water, and scaring the hell out of His disciples.
Quote or Joke of the Day:
There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope. — Bern Williams
When it was evening, his disciples went down to the sea, embarked in a boat, and went across the sea to Capernaum. It had already grown dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea was stirred up because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they began to be afraid. But he said to them, “It is I. Do not be afraid.” They wanted to take him into the boat, but the boat immediately arrived at the shore to which they were heading. (NAB John 6:16-21)
This incident happens immediately after the “loaves and fish miracle” on a mountain near Tiberius on the Sea of Galilee. This is a fifth sign of Jesus sharing God’s power, using nature as the stage of this miracle.
Have you noticed that the stage is not only nature (on the sea), but also darkness. Jesus is not present with the disciples, and nature challenges them. This natural ebb and flow causes the men to be concerned. When Jesus arrives, the supernatural divinity of Jesus saves them.
Can you picture being in a large “john boat,” rowing against the rough and foamy waves that are mercilessly beating against your boat, while at the same time the boat is flooded with each white and foamy crest that strikes the boat. At the same time, the wind is so strong that it could push anyone overboard if they would stand erect. They were not close to shore either. At three or four miles from land, any glimpse of land would be barely visible on the horizon, even in bright daylight.
Then, in the dark and gloomy distance you see Jesus, somehow illuminated as to easily see Him. He is easily walking on the water towards your boat. These fisherman, who were probably concerned about the conditions, but have also probably experienced similar severe weather many times in the past and knew how to handle the boat in such conditions, are made afraid by what they are seeing with Jesus walking on the water.
This is something that no one has ever seen before. It is clear that Jesus is walking upon the water of a rough and violent sea, without any apprehension or concern; only with the radiant love He had towards the men in the boat. These Jewish fishermen were probably aware of the Old Testament Prophesy found in Job 9:8 that states God “treads upon the crests of the sea.” They realize they are seeing the God of this prophesy; the Savior or Messiah.
When we are in distress for whatever reason, be it physical, mental, financial, or spiritual; we are adrift in a dark sea of concern and fear. At these times, look to the horizon, and find the illuminated Jesus walking towards you, and embrace Him. He IS your savior!
The phrase “It is I” literally translates as, “I am.” This verse alludes to the name of God, “Yahweh,” given to Moses on Mount Sinai. I don’t believe Jesus said this without its meaning being implied. My feeling about this is backed up by Jesus’ action of having the boat instantly at sea shore, when it was three or four miles out to sea only moments earlier. All involved had to be amazed and certain that Jesus was the true “Christ” and the true “Messiah.”
“Lord, I do not need a stormy sea to know of your magnificence and divinity. Please be with me at any time I am ‘on stormy seas’ in my life. Amen.”
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Catholic Saint of the Day: St. Anicetus
Anicetus was a Syrian from Emesa. He became pope about 155 and actively opposed Marcionism and Gnosticism. His pontificate saw the appearance of the controversy between East and West over the date of Easter. St. Polycarp, a disciple of John, is reported to have visited him in Rome about the dispute, which was to accelerate and grow more heated over the following centuries.
(From http://www.catholic.org/saints/ website)
Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #17:
In their family they should cultivate the Franciscan spirit of peace, fidelity, and respect for life, striving to make of it a sign of a world already renewed in Christ.
By living the grace of matrimony, husbands and wives in particular should bear witness in the world to the love of Christ for His Church. They should joyfully accompany their children on their human and spiritual journey by providing a simple and open Christian education and being attentive to the vocation of each child.