to pray. When evening came, the boat was far out on the lake, while he was alone on the land. Jesus saw his disciples
straining at the oars, for the wind was against them; and before daybreak he came to them, walking on the lake, and
he was going to pass them by. When they saw him walking on the lake, they thought it was a ghost and cried out; for they all
saw him and were terrified. But, at once, he called to them, “Courage! It is I; don’t be afraid!” Then Jesus got into the boat with them,
and the wind died down. They were completely astonished, for they had not really grasped the fact of the loaves; their minds were dull.
In the incident narrated in today’s gospel, apostle John would
have been present. All the disciples were cowering in fear in the
middle of a storm in the sea. However, much later, the same
John would write—as we read in today’s first reading—about
fearlessness. Between these two accounts, something happened:
John experienced perfect love. Perfect love casts out fear.
How and when? When we realize that we have been loved by a
love that we had never known ever existed. John experienced it:
The disciples were out in the sea, Jesus was in prayer on the land.
How could he see them straining at the oar if they were so far out
in the sea at night? Love sees everything and reaches out every time.
Fear dies when such love meets us. Rather, fear dies the moment
we become aware of such love being present and watching over us,
even when we may not feel it right away.
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