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The Everyday Prayer

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Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 6, 16-21

That evening the disciples went down to the shore of the sea

and got into a boat to make for Capernaum on the other side of the sea. It was getting dark by now and Jesus had still not rejoined them.

The wind was strong, and the sea was getting rough.

They had rowed three or four miles when they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming towards the boat. They were afraid,

but he said, 'It's me. Don't be afraid.'

They were ready to take him into the boat, and immediately it reached the shore at the place they were making for.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

If you believe, you will see the glory of God,
thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

In the storm of life it is easy to be frightened and doubtful. Suffering upsets us, natural disasters leave us without words, like at times the abyss of evil which seems to take over men and women and which frightens us and makes us doubtful and with little hope for our future and the future of the world. In difficult moments, when resignation takes over our hearts, it is easy to ask ourselves: but what humanity is this? It is really hard to change it? These are thoughts which seem reasonable, even more so if we consider the contrarian winds which agitate humanity in so many parts of the world, even in this beginning of the millennium. Entire peoples continue to be immersed in darkness without the immediate outlook of resurrection. One could say that the weights that burden the life of the people are like the heaviness of that stone which closed the tomb of the Lord and which upset the women while they went to the sepulchre to anoint the dead body of Jesus. In truth, Jesus is not far from us, even in the dark moments, he is not far from the world even in the most dramatic moments. Jesus continues to walk still today among the tempestuous waters of the life of men and women and he opens his way among the waves and doubts that assault us and make life sad and difficult. We are the ones actually to forget him or worse to run away from him, as the apostles did that night. The evangelist writes that “they saw Jesus walking on the lake and coming near the boat, and they were terrified.” How many times have we preferred to stay with our fears instead of allowing ourselves to be consoled and reassured by the Gospel and by our brothers and sisters. Fear is such a natural and spontaneous feeling that is seems more “ours” than the closeness with the Lord does. But another thing is true: the love Jesus has for us is stronger than our fear. Even if we prefer to stay attached to the boat of our illusory securities, proudly believing that we alone can make it and overcome every hurricane in life. Jesus gets close to the disciples and says, “It is I, do not be afraid.” These are the good words that Jesus continues to repeat today to every disciple every time that the Gospel is proclaimed. And if we welcome it, like the disciples did that time, Jesus always brings the calm. The security of the disciples is not based on their strength or experience, but in trusting the Lord. It is the Lord who comes to our aid, who gets into our boat and leads it to a safe port.

Sunday Vigil