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Walking on the water

Gospel reading: Jn 6:16-21
When it was evening, the disciples of Jesus 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.

REFLECTIONS
It is I
The miracle of the multiplication of the loaves is followed by the narrative of Jesus walking on the water in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and John. If the multiplication of the loaves recalls the miracle of manna that supported the Israelites during their wandering in the desert, Jesus’ power over the water is seen as recalling God’s power over the Yam Suf (Sea of Reeds) that enabled the Israelites to cross on dry land. To the frightened disciples, Jesus declares, “It is I. Do not be afraid.” “It is I” translates the Greek Ego eimi, “I AM,” the divine name revealed to Moses in the burning bush (cf Ex 3:14). Like the Lord God in the Old Testament, Jesus shows himself the Lord of nature.

Jesus probably gives this “sign” of divine power in view of the “hard saying” about himself as the Bread of Life that will test the disciples’ faith. Jesus assures his disciples not to be afraid to accept his claim as the Bread come down from heaven that gives life to the world. Because they have witnessed him doing miracles, the disciples can turn to him as the Holy One of God, as one having words of eternal life (cf Jn 6:68-69).

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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