Tuesday 2 August 2022

About Today Readings

St Eusebius of Vercelli; St Peter Julian Eymard

Jeremiah 30:1-2, 12-15, 18-22. The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory – Psalm 101(102):16-21, 29, 22-23. Matthew 14:22-36

Jesus walks on the water

When Jesus walks on water it’s a scene that seems more at home in a Marvel blockbuster. It’s a spring night, around the time of Passover. It’s dark, just before dawn. It’s probably cold. The disciples have left Jesus praying alone on a mountain while they sail far off from land, presumably to fish. Winds are strong. The verse mentions the boat buffeted by waves and wind. The day before, they’d fed the 5000. It’s not a calm sea Jesus walks on. Waves on a stormy sea are choppy, white capped, with tall peaks and deep valleys. The small boat was rocking and unsteady. Was Jesus standing in a place untouched by waves? Did he get wet? It doesn’t say. His disciples think he’s a ghost, so he’s not recognisable when they glimpse him at first. The key question is, why do this? Or at least, why didn’t he calm the sea beforehand? Jesus gives no explanation, other than showing his friends who he is. Jesus is demonstrating in no uncertain terms that he is Lord of the elements, the storm, the sea, the wind, waves, representing chaos at its most pure. Jesus is Lord over chaos. It’s a baffling feat, made even more strange when Peter jumps out and starts walking on water too. His followers had been calling for an outward sign that he was the Messiah. Of all the signs in the Gospel, few are quite as remarkable.

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