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Doctrines & Morals
 
 
 
Homilies/Reflections

The troubled sea
By FR JULIUS OLAITAN

April 14, 2018 (Saturday of the Second Week of Easter)

 

The troubled sea

 

Dear friends in Christ, there are ‘evenings’ of trouble in everyone’s life and that of the community; days when darkness looms and the night approaches faster than ever. The times when visibility becomes poor despite great faith. Those are also the days when the Lord stays close, watching over his people to make sure that even as they travel through the shadow of darkness, they do not fear any evil. 

 

The episode in the Gospel of today(John 6:16-21) took place shortly after the miracle of the multiplication of loaves. While the people attempted to make Jesus king, perhaps to satisfy their cravings and have surplus meals more regularly, he withdrew into the hills; and the disciples decided to cross by sea to Capernaum. It was now dark and Jesus had not yet rejoined them, there was a strong wind which troubled the sea and made their journey difficult. In that confusion, they saw someone walking on the sea towards the boat which frightened them, but they heard Jesus say to them, “It is I, do not be afraid.” Just as he joined them, the boat came to land. A life without Jesus, is a life in great trouble and distress. His presence in the boat did not only calm the sea for them, but quickened their journey. When you go with Jesus, the journey of life becomes swifter no matter the storm that may come. 

 

Today’s first reading (Acts 6:1-7) is about a major storm that shook the early Church. Widows were among the poorest of the poor at the time. There must have been a major tension among the Jewish Christians and the Greek Christians concerning the distribution of relief materials to widows of both sides, which led to the formal complain of today’s reading. To avoid a situation whereby the Apostles will have to do the distribution themselves, they allowed the people to nominate those who will do the job. They must however be, “People of good repute, full of the spirit and wisdom.” They will handle the distribution while the Apostles face issues of prayer and the ministry of the Word. Among those chosen was “a man of faith and of the Holy Spirit” called Stephen who will become the first Christian Martyr. This decision of the Apostles to delegate the duty to the deacons, after the laying on of hands, brought peace in the administration of the early Church. A great sign that the Lord was in the boat.

 

Know for sure, that there are times of trouble for the boat in which you are journeying through life. It may be your job, your vocation, your marriage, your family life… Never give up at any point. Know that once the Lord is in the boat, no matter how rough the sea may be, you will coast home safely. Trust in the Lord for your strength. Hand things to him daily in prayer.

 

Let us pray: Lord, the boat of our nation is rough, so also it is with our lives; come into our boat and stop the rampaging sea. Amen. May the almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 
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Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos.