The experience of the disciples in today’s gospel will surely resonate with us during this lockdown. We often speak about the storms of life that we encounter and that we are having to face them and find a way through them. It’s certainly true of the present moment in our lives.
Today’s Gospel is about the storm on the lake of Galilee. In the midst of the storm the disciples boat is tossed about by the waves. Jesus comes into the midst of the disciples in their difficulties. They think it is a ghost as Jesus walks upon the stormy waves. He says to them in the midst of their fear “Do not be afraid. It is I.” Peter on hearing these words, wants to join Jesus on the water. Jesus calls him and for a brief time, Peter walks on the water, but then he begins to be afraid and cries out to the Lord to save him. Jesus reaches out and holds him safe.
During these uncertain and anxious times, we are like Peter and the disciples. We can be strong and brave in the face of adversity but also we can become fearful and feel our faith becoming weak. In the midst of all of this, we too are called to recognise that Jesus is always there for us. He is our Emmanuel-God with us.
When Jesus and Peter got into the boat, the wind began to die down and the disciples come to realise that Jesus is truly the Son of God, the Lord of all creation. We too are invited to come to a deeper awareness, that the Lord seeks to be close to us in the midst of all that is difficult and challenging during these weeks of lockdown.
Fr Martin Ashe