Sunday Vigil

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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

During life's tempests, it is easy to be afraid and doubtful. Suffering upsets us. Natural disasters leave us speechless. It feels like this when the abyss of evil that seems to seize power over men and women frightens us, causing us to doubt and lose faith in our future and that of the world. But in truth Jesus is not far from us, even during the dark moments; he is not far from the world even in our more dramatic moments. Jesus continues to walk on the tumultuous waters of life even today and makes a path through the waves and doubts that assault us and make our life despondent and difficult. Rather, we are the ones to forget him or, worse, flee from him, as happens to the apostles that evening. The evangelist writes: "They saw Jesus walking on the lake and coming near the boat, and they were terrified." Instead of allowing ourselves to be consoled and reassured by the Gospel and by our friends, we often prefer to remain alone with our fear, a feeling so natural and spontaneous that we recognize it as more "ours' than God's closeness. But another thing is true: Jesus' love for us is much more solid than our fear, even if we prefer to keep clutching the boat of our illusory security, believing proudly that by ourselves we will be able to weather life's hurricanes. Jesus draws near to the disciples and says to them: "It is I; do not be afraid." These are the good words that Jesus continues to repeat, even today to his disciples each time that the Gospel is proclaimed. And if we welcome it, as the disciples had done with Jesus, it will always lead us to tranquil waters. The disciples' security does not rely on their own strength or experience, but on entrusting themselves to the Lord. It is the Lord who comes to our aid, who gets into our boat and leads us safely to the port.