When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified. “It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear. At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
The above lines from todays’ gospel are a reminder that often in difficult times we don’t recognise God. In this gospel scene, Jesus’ disciples see a ‘ghost’ and cry out in ‘fear’. Amid difficult situations, it is hard to recognise compassion, concern, love etc. especially when we can be distressed with fear or grief.
Recently, we have had the tragic death on the Greek island of Ios of two students from St. Michael’s College in Dublin. In the middle of this storm, it is hard to understand God, and for many in this storm God is unrecognisable.
However, as we heard in today’s Gospel, Jesus responds to our fear, our worry and our concerns. Jesus responds by offering courage as a gift to people who are worried and experiencing fear. He holds his hand out in Trust.
Peter experienced God by human touch of a hand. God is a God of skin and bone, with a compassionate heart and goes to people in distress, leaving his place of prayer.
Let us remember a time when you were in fear, or afraid and somebody responded with love. Let us Give thanks for this act of love and kindness.