August 9

Reflection

Take heart, it is I. Do not be afraid.
Matthew 14:22-23

 In this narrative, It is night and the apostles are in a boat alone at sea. Jesus comes to them walking on the water and they are terrified. The sea is an image which reverberates with rich resonances of meaning in the Hebrew Bible. The Hebrew word for “sea” is derived from the name of the evil god in the Babylonian creation story. It carried connotations of evil, a mysterious and threatening force opposed to God. Accordingly, when the ancient Hebrews wanted to stress God’s power and authority, they spoke of the divine mastery of the sea. This connection to language and imagery that were part of the early church’s religious-literary tradition suggest that the story is to be understood within that larger framework. Putting all these elements together, the narrative makes several points. The power and authority of God; that which was said of God in the Old Testament is now said of Jesus. Jesus responds to his followers’ cry of distress when the forces of evil threaten to overwhelm them. Finally, a boat was one of the images for the early church. The purpose of the narrative may be symbolic rather than historical. It is no less true for being symbolic; indeed, its truth is verified in the experience of Christians ever since, quite apart from the historical verdict about whether the story describes an actual incident one night on the Sea of Galilee.
Adapted from Marcus Borg

Prayer

Do not be afraid.

Action

The apostles are told not to be afraid. They are reminded to have faith in Jesus. It is difficult in times that are fearful and chaotic to keep faithful to our beliefs and true to our commitment to the gospel message. What can you do to keep your balance and be of support to others in difficult times?

Suggested Reading

And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. 2But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Matthew 14: 22-23

It is presumptuous in me to wish to choose my path, because I cannot tell which path is best for me. I must leave it to the Lord, Who knows me, to lead me by the path which is best for me, so that in all things His will may be done.
Teresa of Ávila

Trust the past to God’s mercy, the present to God’s love and the future to God’s providence.
Augustine

Let your life reflect the faith you have in God. Fear nothing and pray about everything. Be strong, trust God’s word, and trust the process.
Germany Kent

Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.
Corrie Ten Boom

Every fear is distrust, and trust is the remedy for fear.
B. Simpson

 

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