‘It is I. Do not be afraid.’

Published April 17, 2021, 12:01 AM

by Manila Bulletin


In biblical tradition, God is in control of all creation and its elements. The Book of Job declares, “He alone stretches out the heavens and treads upon the crests of the sea” (Jb 9:8). Isaiah recalls God’s works thus: “Was it not you who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep, who made the depths of the sea into a way for the redeemed to pass over?” (51:10). In the Gospel, by “walking on the sea,” Jesus manifests the same power that is the prerogative of Yahweh alone. His declaration to the frightened disciples: “It is I” reminds us of the divine theophany to Moses at the burning bush: “I am who am” (Ex 3:14).

Sometimes, in the stormy events of life, we experience the fluctuating “absence and presence” of God. In the difficult periods of life we experience loss of bearings, fear of the unknown, life-or- death situations, fatigue and aloneness. In moments like these, Jesus assures us: “Do not be afraid.” With Jesus as our refuge and strength, we do not fear, though the waters rage and foam around us.

GOSPEL • JOHN 6:16-21

When it was evening, the disciples of Jesus went down to the sea, embarked in a boat, and went across the sea to Capernaum. It had already grown dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea was stirred up because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they began to be afraid. But he said to them, “It is I. Do not be afraid.” They wanted to take him into the boat, but the boat immediately arrived at the shore to which they were heading.

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2021,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.