Today’s Gospel: John 6:16-21 – St. Catherine of Siena
Fear can be paralyzing. It can cement us to the very spot that terrifies us because with fear often comes an inability to make a decision. We are so afraid we don’t know what to do. I have felt that fear. A few years ago my husband was seriously ill, in a health crisis that could have gone either way. I was very afraid. I can remember standing next to him while he lay in the hospital bed and praying, “God help me, I don’t know what to do, I am afraid.”
I cannot tell you that I’d never been afraid before or since or never will be again. But in that surrendering, in the admitting I was afraid there was comfort. God intervened, gave me signs, helped me to stay calm and most of all, sent a strength to me I did not know I possessed. I learned the truth that you don’t know what you are capable of until you need to possess the capability.
Jesus tells His disciples to not be afraid. Is it to not fear the storm or the fact that He is walking on water? I think it is the latter, given that these are mostly fishermen accustomed to storms at sea. A boat on the water is where they earned a living, surely they’d lived through storms. Would Jesus walking on water frighten you or console you? I think it would take me a few minutes to not be afraid, as things which are contrary to what we are used to frighten us.
Maybe that’s our lesson, that while what Jesus wants from us may be contrary to what we want we need, to not be afraid. We need to follow Him.
What is your greatest fear? How can you surrender that to Jesus today?
Jesus, you tell us “Do not be afraid” and I trust in you. Lead me to less fear and greater trust. Amen.
Copyright 2017 Deanna Bartalini