TAKE COURAGE, IT IS I; DO NOT BE AFRAID (1 John 4:11-18/Psalm 72:1-2,10-13/Mark 6:45-52)

TAKE COURAGE, IT IS I; DO NOT BE AFRAID (1 John 4:11-18/Psalm 72:1-2,10-13/Mark 6:45-52)

(Homily for Wednesday 09 January 2019)

_"Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. After saying farewell to them, he went up on the mountain to pray" (Mark 6:45-46)_

Turbulent storms and vicissitudes are part of facts of life that will come when they will come. Such moments can be a time to build up our faith in God or a time that leads to hopelessness, loss of faith and trust in God if not well handled.

In most cases, we cannot stop these storms of life from coming or hovering around us but we can handle them when they come if we anchored our faith in God. Many of us today are facing a hard time of joblessness, sickness, different kinds of family problems, unemployment, academic challenges, childlessness, vocation crises, marital problems etc.

It is true that none of us prays for this dark side of life but let us not be discouraged or taken aback when they hit us because Christ is the solution.

The gospel of today presents us with a tip of how storms of life can come our way and the right attitude to handle them. The secret of surviving the storm and vicissitudes of life is our faith strongly anchored on Christ, the source, the author and finisher of our faith (Heb. 12: 2).

Keeping our eyes fixed on Christ is the best solution to the turbulent storm we are facing. Let us analyze the gospels of yesterday and today a bit so as to understand the point clearer. Yesterday the disciples were with Christ on a boat when they were going to have their rest, there was no strong wind or turbulent storm.

Today, there was a bit separation from their Master and there was a heavy storm that nearly destroyed them. Immediately Christ saw them from afar, He came to their rescue and immediately the wind stopped, there were stillness and calmness on the surface of the water.

First of all, He told them “Courage! It is I, do not be afraid! The short lesson goes thus: when the Disciples were connected with Christ nothing happened to them, when they disconnected with Him, there was a heavy storm and when they reconnected with Him again, there was a welcome back, there was a steady network, there were stillness, calmness and serenity.

Christ never abandoned His disciples when they were in a turbulent condition today. Likewise, God can never lead us this far to abandon us at the middle of the sea! What He needs from us is a strong faith no matter how little such is.

Faith in Christ is like a steady power supply, when we have it, we see clearly but when we do not have it, we grope in darkness and our vision becomes faint.

As we are beginning the year, it is very important to put Christ in front of our life no matter what the situation is like. If we are already connected with Him, let us not make a mistake of disconnecting ourselves from Him in order not to experience bad network. If we are disconnected with Him, let us make haste to reconnect so as to keep enjoying His gratuitous services and blessings.

The keys to a steady network with Christ are faith, perseverance, patience, prayer, and love. This love as Saint John presented in the first reading today must be vertical and horizontal: The love God and the love of our neighbour (I Jn 4:11-18). Neither of them can go without the other. The true measure of our love for God (vertical) is the true love for our neighbour (horizontal) because we move from the known to the unknown. No one has ever seen God; but as long as we love one another, God will live in us and His love will be complete in us.

Let Us Pray: Lord Jesus, I profess my faith in you again, help me to remain steadfast and may you calm every storm that may rise against me. Amen.