After a very long day, after healing and preaching, Jesus has to send the multitudes away so he can be by himself and pray. He needs to commune with his Father, but have you ever thought of what Jesus was praying about? He was probably praying for the people he had just recently encountered and his disciples, whom he knew were traveling in a troublesome sea!
The disciples are experienced fishermen, they are acquainted with traveling by boat at night, but imagine the situation, it’s late at night, and they are tired, they are probably cold and hungry, and the wind is blowing against their boat, where being tossed about by the waves! So they had to row very hard, and the waves were crashing against them, making the boat creak and groan, and Jesus, their leader, was not with them; add to that, they saw someone walking on the water! I can’t blame them for being afraid, for they will never expect Jesus to come to them in that manner, not even in their wildest dreams.
Isn’t this scenario often true in our lives? Things seem to be going smoothly, and then suddenly, we find ourselves in the middle of something we cannot comprehend, and we become afraid of what the future might hold. And then, like Peter, all we want is to get out of the boat and go to Jesus. Go to him with faith and courage, for we will be asked to walk through the circumstances that trouble us, that make us afraid. And what can give us courage? Knowing that Jesus is with us.
Let us pray:
O God! My soul is frightened; my virtue succumbs. I feel that I have no wings to fly to the top of the mountain of God, that I am afraid of everything, I scare myself. But the Eucharistic Jesus will be my strength; it was the Eucharist that made the first Christians, sustained the martyrs, inspired and perfected the virgins. With Jesus, I will be able to do everything; with his grace, I will sacrifice nature as easily, as joyfully as one binds a lion cub for a day. With his help, I will walk on the wrathful waves of the sea. I will pass through lions and dragons in security. On the contrary, the weaker I am, the more God’s strength will triumph, and the glory will be to him. Amen. Saint Peter Julian Eymard: (Paris, 1856, Retreat for the Ladies of Toulon, 7th meditation)