“Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”

Back to Matthew (14:22-36), today we read of Jesus sending the disciples ahead of Him on a boat while He dismisses the crowd and goes off to spend time in prayer.  During the night a severe storm arises threatening the boat.  Jesus walks on the water toward the boat, frightening its complement.  Jesus tries to calm them with the words above.  Then Peter asks Jesus to have him also walk on water.  Peter gets out of the boat and does so but gets scared and starts to sink.  Jesus saves him, both get into the boat. and the storm ceases.  Docking at Gennesaret many come out to be healed and are healed.  Blessed John Paul II is famous for opening his pontificate with the words “Be not afraid!”  It seems that he was prescient in reminding us of those words for the rest of our lives.  When it comes to the most important thing, our immortal soul, we need not be afraid of losing Christ if we live for Christ.  “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom 8:31).  In a time when we can be tempted to fear for our country, our freedoms, our society, our families, and ourselves, Jesus and the Church tell us we need not experience consternation..  “Do not be afraid; just have faith [also translated “trust])” (Mk 5:36).  Let us not cease praying for the increase of faith/trust in our lives so that we will “not let [our] hearts be troubled” (Jn 14:1).  Then we can live our lives in hope and be instruments to transform others.

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