Wednesday, 9 January 2019 : Wednesday after the Epiphany (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we are reminded yet again of the great blessing and grace we have received because of the love that God has for each and every one of us. God’s love has been manifested in the flesh, in the worldly appearance of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Son of Man, He Who revealed Himself as we remember that revelation at the Solemnity of the Epiphany we have just celebrated.

And in the Gospel passage that we heard today, we heard about the assurance that God gave to His people, of His steadfast faith and loving commitment to us all, His beloved ones. He came to them in the midst of a great storm in the Lake of Galilee, and as the boat was rocked by heavy waves and strong wind, the Lord appeared to the frightened disciples and reassured them that there was nothing for them to fear, for He was with them.

Initially, the disciples did not believe that the One they had seen, was indeed the Lord. They were frightened even more, thinking that they had seen a ghost. But God reassured them and told them to have faith in Him. He stepped onto the boat, and almost immediately, the great storm, all of the wind and waves that battered the boat of the disciples were calmed, and the sea was still. And the disciples then knew that He was indeed the Lord.

The meaning of what we have heard in the Gospel passage today is very symbolic, and also a powerful reminder that God is always in our midst, loving us and caring for us. And all these He has done, despite our cynicism and lack of faith, our continued and stubborn refusal to listen to Him and our failure to recognise His presence and love in our midst. The disciples and the boat they were in are in fact representations of the Church, as the Church is often represented as a boat.

And all of us the people of God, are like the disciples who were in the boat, being rocked very strongly by the wind and the waves, fearing that the boat would be overturned and then sink. If that were to happen, many of the lives of the people on the boat would be lost. And that was why, the disciples were fearful, as they were afraid for their lives, and they thought that they had lost all hope. But the Lord proved them and all of us wrong.

All the waves and the storm represent the challenges, the difficulties and dangers that await us in this world, constantly and from time to time. There are many obstacles indeed in our worldly journey, and we can recognise the presence of all these harsh realities in our midst, daily. But we often fail to realise that through all these dangers and challenges, God never ceases to be with us, guiding us on our way and protecting us.

As He stepped onto the boat, Christ calmed the wind and the waves, and this showed us all, that truly, we have nothing to fear, as long as Christ is the focus and strong anchor of our lives. He is the Head of the Church, and through Him alone, we can find our way through the turbulent times and challenging moments of our earthly lives. But if we prefer to live our lives in our own way, then this is when we start to lose our grip and security, and begin to sink as our lives are battered by the many challenges found in life.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, do we want to continue living in ignorance of the Lord’s loving presence in our midst? Do we want to continue to live our lives in our own way, and turning away from God’s path? Shall we instead learn to listen to the Lord, opening our hearts and minds to know what it is that God wants from us? He wants from us our love, just as He has loved us first, from the time when He created us from nothingness.

May the Lord be with us always, and may He empower us all to live faithfully in His presence from now on. Let us all turn towards Him with all of our strength and ability, each and every days of our life. Amen.

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