Memorial of Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church Father Steven Reilly, LC
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.
Introductory Prayer: I come before you, Lord, poor and unworthy. Yet you welcome me with such love. With my effort during this meditation I want to make a small return on your great kindness.
Petition: May I never give into my fears, knowing that you are always at my side.
1. Rough Times: Moments in our lives can be aptly symbolized by this reading: rough waters, darkness and little headway. At times the waters of our soul are stirred up by our unchecked emotions, our pride or vanity; we lose the sense of direction and seem to be rowing with futility. Could it be any other way if Christ is not in our boat? When we are struggling, we should take a look at our prayer life. Therein, perhaps, lies the answer to some of our difficulties.
2. I AM! Jesus' response to the fear of his disciples is a majestic word indeed. Translated here as "It is I," literally in Greek it is "I am," the divine name used by God when speaking to Moses from the burning bush. It is a name that speaks of presence and power. God is not watching our travails ineffectually from afar. He comes to our aid, as he does to the disciples' in this story.
3. The Safe Port: The immediate arrival of the boat to the shore described in this passage is something very hard to imagine. For the disciples, it must have been almost like waking up from a nightmare, going from the danger of the rough waters in the middle of the sea to finding themselves already with Christ at the shore. What might this be telling us? Perhaps that once we decide to take Christ in our boat, we have, in a sense, already reached our destination.
Conversation with Christ: Lord, help me to not to be swept away by the rough waters of my pride, vanity and sensuality. When I make no progress, whom do I have to blame except myself? Yet I trust in your mercy. Your divine presence reassures me. Lord, never leave my boat!
Resolution: I will make a visit to the Eucharist today to renew my complete trust in Christ.