Today’s Gospel reading:
“After the five thousand had eaten and were satisfied,
Jesus made his disciples get into the boat
and precede him to the other side toward Bethsaida,
while he dismissed the crowd.
And when he had taken leave of them,
he went off to the mountain to pray.
When it was evening,
the boat was far out on the sea and he was alone on shore.
Then he saw that they were tossed about while rowing,
for the wind was against them.
About the fourth watch of the night,
he came toward them walking on the sea.
He meant to pass by them.
But when they saw him walking on the sea,
they thought it was a ghost and cried out.
They had all seen him and were terrified.
But at once he spoke with them,
“Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!”
He got into the boat with them and the wind died down.
They were completely astounded.
They had not understood the incident of the loaves.
On the contrary, their hearts were hardened.” Mark 6:45-52
History repeats itself. That’s what the saying goes. It has happened to me before and happened several times again afterwards. Just like the disciples, after experiencing the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves of bread and fish, that fed five thousand men, it only took some wind and they forgot about Jesus! Maybe not totally, but they couldn’t recognize him, were terrified and as the final verse said; “on the contrary, their hearts were hardened.” I’m no better than the disciples. Life as it goes, comes with challenges and storms, and like the disciples, I couldn’t recognized Jesus, even if He would stand right in front of me, even after I’ve experienced firsthand His blessings, graces, love and the many times He saved me from troubles and helped me solve my problems. I ask myself again and again; why, oh why did I fail to recognize Him? I think I would answer that question myself. Because deep inside I know the answer. I’ve focused more on my problems or on the storms and trying to solve it all by myself. I know Jesus is there. Just like the disciples, of course they knew Jesus was there; up in the mountain praying or maybe on the shore waiting for them. But never in their wildest dream would they imagine or think that He would be walking on the sea in the middle of heavy winds! It just didn’t fit in their reality. It was against any natural law. Wait, they just experienced the miracles of the loaves, wouldn’t it be more easier for them now to believe that there is no impossible to God? And yet it was difficult for them to comprehend God’s love and presence right there in the middle of the storm. I have to admit that I am like the disciples, maybe worst. It’s so easy to praise God when everything run smoothly and the sun is shining. But when troubles come, I would pray, Lord help me, but fail to recognize that He is helping me already. He is already there. In the middle of a tragic death of a family member, Jesus is there. In the middle of a divorce, Jesus is there. Right there in the financial crisis, Jesus is extending His Hands, assuring me that He is there. Amidst the pain, sorrow and miseries, Jesus is there.
Lord, help me to recognize you in every aspect of my life; good or bad. Open my eyes and help me see you in all circumstances, everywhere, every time and in people around me. Open my ears so I may hear Your words.
Lord, I pray that may my heart never be hardened because of the storms and cruelties in life. I am not asking you to take away all the bad things that makes my heart harder, rather help me understand these things and accept them with hope and love. I know, that only by letting you into my heart, will my heart be soft. Grant oh Lord that I may open my heart and let you inside. A heart without You in it, is already hard. Only You and Your love softens it.
Thank you Lord Jesus for being here with me no matter what. Thank you for being You, my Beloved Lord and Savior.