In Old Testament times the sea was regarded as the abode of evil spirits. In today’s Gospel we see Jesus making the disciples get into the boat and go to the other side of the lake. The boat is far out in the lake and the disciples are struggling against the wind and waves. They must have been tired, sleepy and frightened by their situation. In this situation, Jesus appears to them in the pre-dawn light and they get terrified thinking it’s a ghost.
Like the disciples we too have been given a mission by God and like good disciples we undertake the mission. However soon we are beset by troubles on all sides – financial, health, emotional, family, etc. We get tired, feel unable to cope and get overcome by our situation. Our faith and hope takes a beating.
It is precisely at this ‘pre-dawn time’ when we are unable to see the way out of our problems clearly that Jesus appears to us and says “Courage!” “Don’t be afraid”. These words of Jesus must have given Peter a lot of faith and he is willing to overcome the situation with Jesus at his side. However we see that he shifts his focus from Jesus to the problems and starts to sink.
Reflection: In our mission to be good parents, bread winners, teachers, citizens, etc., are we overcome with fear at the problems we face? Do we fear violence in living our lives like Jesus? When we see the persecution around us do we fear? If we do, we will certainly sink unless we have Jesus with us. Let us not lose faith. When He commissions us He also empowers us. Like Peter we can always call out “Save me Lord” and Jesus will reach out and save us.