- The Abbey of the Genesee - https://www.geneseeabbey.org -

May 4, 2019

Fr. John Denburger, OCSO [1]

2nd Saturday of Easter Time
Acts 6: 1 – 7; Ps 33; John 6; 16 – 21

Each evangelists reports the miracles of Jesus – miracles that reveal His identity and also are meant to be actions that manifest the truth. Jesus, contrary to the desires of people like Herod, did not perform miracles for the sake of miracles; Jesus never sought acclaim, prestige, worldly power or ambition. “The Son of man came to serve and not to be served.”

Although it was dark and the sea was being stirred by a strong wind, the disciples in the boat were not in trouble so Jesus coming to them walking on the water was not for their rescue. What was the purpose of Jesus’ action?

I believe this marvelous action was a miracle of instruction. Perhaps, after the Resurrection/Ascension of the Lord they would recall passages of Scripture that speak of this very thing: Job 9: 8 “He (God) alone stretches out the heavens and treads upon the crests of the sea.” In Psalm 77: 30 we hear “Through the sea was Your way and Your path through the deep waters, though Your footsteps were not seen.”

Jesus was to them – Master, Rabbi, Teacher – and infinitely more – the Eternal Son of God, the Eternal Word hidden in the humanity of Jesus but they had yet to come to see and believe this. His walking on the water – an instruction for their limited understanding – a truth would grow and deepen in them so that Peter will declare, “…there is no salvation in anyone else, for there is no other name in the whole world given to people by which we are to be saved.” (Acs 4: 12)

By His walking on the water Jesus was saving them from limited truth about Him, was delivering them from mere familiarity to awesome wonder. Familiarity can limit even stagnate a relationship with the Lord whereas wonder has no limit and can lead to a relationship with the Lord that has no end and never will.

May the Word of God, the Word we receive through the Gospel today and through all the Gospels draw us always beyond familiarity to the grace of wonder – wonder feeds the contemplative heart, nourishes the soul that seeks the Lord – we can exist with familiarity but through the gift of wonder we can and do live in Jesus Christ and that is a miracle of grace.