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January 06, 2021

Mk 6: 45-52

Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. After saying farewell to them, he went up on the mountain to pray.

When evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. When he saw that they were straining at the oars against an adverse wind, he came towards them early in the morning, walking on the sea. He intended to pass them by. But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out; for they all saw him and were terrified. 

But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” Then he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Aware of God’s unending love

These disciples had had a long day.  They had followed Jesus across the lake to a huge, hungry  crowd.  (“How could they not think about bringing lunch?”) They were heading back without Jesus. (“Obviously he would rather be alone than with us.”) Then, as their tired arms worked desperately to keep the boat from capsizing, they experienced utter terror.  (“What is THAT?  A ghost!”) When they saw it was Jesus, they still didn’t understand.   

We think, “Oh, those obtuse, hard-headed disciples!”  But how often do we not fully appreciate our relationship with God?  “Not now. I’m tired. I’m afraid. Nothing can fix the mess I’m in.”   We turn our dejected faces away, and yet…consolation returns. God’s gift of relationship, perfect love, casting out all fear. “Here I am.  Do not be afraid.” And, through our stubbornness, brokenness, and hard hearted-ness, we return to the secure awareness of God’s unending love. 

You might try the technique of Ignatian contemplation to imagine yourself in this story.  Using all of your senses, become one of the disciples, and let the Holy Spirit guide you as you become part of this Gospel message.  How were you touched by Jesus?

—Donna K. Becher, M.S., is an associate spiritual director at the West Virginia Institute for Spirituality in Charleston, West Virginia.  Her training is rooted in the Spiritual Exercises of St. ignatius of Loyola.

 

Prayer

Lord, even though I know you are there, I sometimes forget to turn to you when I am angry, afraid, or frustrated.  Help me to trust that you are with me, and remember your words “do not be afraid.” Open my heart to be more fully present to you in all that I do. Amen.

—Jesuit Prayer team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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Ignatian spirituality reminds us that God pursues us in the routines of our home and work life, and in the hopes and fears of life's challenges. The founder of the Jesuits, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, created the Spiritual Exercises to deepen our relationship with Christ and to move our contemplation into service. May this prayer site anchor your day and strengthen your resolve to remember what truly matters.

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January 06, 2021

Mk 6: 45-52

Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. After saying farewell to them, he went up on the mountain to pray.

When evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. When he saw that they were straining at the oars against an adverse wind, he came towards them early in the morning, walking on the sea. He intended to pass them by. But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out; for they all saw him and were terrified. 

But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” Then he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Aware of God’s unending love

These disciples had had a long day.  They had followed Jesus across the lake to a huge, hungry  crowd.  (“How could they not think about bringing lunch?”) They were heading back without Jesus. (“Obviously he would rather be alone than with us.”) Then, as their tired arms worked desperately to keep the boat from capsizing, they experienced utter terror.  (“What is THAT?  A ghost!”) When they saw it was Jesus, they still didn’t understand.   

We think, “Oh, those obtuse, hard-headed disciples!”  But how often do we not fully appreciate our relationship with God?  “Not now. I’m tired. I’m afraid. Nothing can fix the mess I’m in.”   We turn our dejected faces away, and yet…consolation returns. God’s gift of relationship, perfect love, casting out all fear. “Here I am.  Do not be afraid.” And, through our stubbornness, brokenness, and hard hearted-ness, we return to the secure awareness of God’s unending love. 

You might try the technique of Ignatian contemplation to imagine yourself in this story.  Using all of your senses, become one of the disciples, and let the Holy Spirit guide you as you become part of this Gospel message.  How were you touched by Jesus?

—Donna K. Becher, M.S., is an associate spiritual director at the West Virginia Institute for Spirituality in Charleston, West Virginia.  Her training is rooted in the Spiritual Exercises of St. ignatius of Loyola.

 

Prayer

Lord, even though I know you are there, I sometimes forget to turn to you when I am angry, afraid, or frustrated.  Help me to trust that you are with me, and remember your words “do not be afraid.” Open my heart to be more fully present to you in all that I do. Amen.

—Jesuit Prayer team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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