This is the Sea of Galilee.
That’s the sea Jesus walked across, in the midst of a storm, to get to his disciples, who were rowing through the storm in an attempt to reach the other side.
Photo credit: Frank Starmer. More awesome pictures here.
He is Jesus. I am Marie. I’m not capable of a lot of the amazing stuff Jesus accomplished in his short lifetime. Something about that whole divine-and-human thing, perhaps? So I’m the kind of person who has to get in a boat and actually row across the sea to get to where I’m going. No walking on the water for me. But moving on…
The visiting priest at Mass today actually reflected back on last Friday and Saturday’s gospel readings, to tie them into today’s.
(FYI: Friday – Jn 6:1-15, Saturday – Jn 6:16-21, today – Jn 6:30-35.)
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.
And Fr. Joe made me laugh when he summed it up as such – the disciples, here they are fretting and waiting for Jesus (who was up on the mountainside praying, if you look back at the previous verses) and they’re rowing and rowing for miles in this storm, and then Jesus shows up. And before they even have the time to fret on how to get him off the sea and into their boat, they’re at the shore. Boom. And Jesus is all, “couldn’t take an extra few moments to pray, but had to get out there and tackle the storm, eh? Well, I took those extra few moments, and did we not arrive at the shore at the same time? Think on that.” (not a real quote. obviously.)
I’m stubborn. Sometime it takes quite a few iterations of the same exact thing for me to have one of those ‘lightbulb’ moments. Well, apparently the disciples had the same issue at times. We can look at the tasks ahead and think, “I’m going to have to climb out of bed this morning and buckle down to work first thing if I plan to accomplish everything I need to.” And how simple that segues into “I can’t possibly take the time to pray this morning. Or during the midst of my day. Or before I go to sleep. Just too much to do.”
And then hours, or miles, later, we’re left with that realization that nigh everything is easier when the burden is shared. And those 10 minutes we couldn’t seem to find in the morning to focus, not on ourselves and our problems, but on the Creator who loves us and wants to walk (or row) with us through all those problems… well, we suddenly realize those 10 minutes could have made the next 100 that much easier.
(Today’s) Psalm 31: In you, O Lord, I seek refuge; do not let me ever be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me. Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily. Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me. You are indeed my rock and my fortress; for your name’s sake lead me and guide me, take me out of the net that is hidden for me, for you are my refuge.
So what did I get out of today? Don’t fight the storm for miles and miles before turning to the God who loves you. Start there, and then tackle all the rest of it.