18th Week in Ord. Time, Monday – 3rd August 2020 — Gospel: Mt 14,22-36
Presence and power for protection
When Jesus came walking across the water of the sea towards his disciples’ boat, it was tossed in the wind and the waves. In the midst of the howling wind and the laboured breath of the rowers, they saw a physical figure shrouded in darkness moving towards them. The disciples were terrified and were imagining it as a ghost, and they cried out in fear. Jesus immediately reassured them that he was there to rescue them from the peril of the sea. The scene is both a revelation of Jesus’ divine nature and a manifestation of his power to save. The Old Testament abounds in texts of divine rescue from storms as well as manifestations of divine power over the sea (the best example is that of Jonah and sailors). Jesus’ words, “It is I” are literally translated as “I Am,” which is the self-designation of God throughout the Hebrew Scriptures. The divine name, accompanied by the divine command, “Do not be afraid,” frequently expresses God’s desire to save his people from danger.