The daily Gospel reading from the Mass for Saturday of the Second Week of Easter is John 6:16-21.

After Feeding the 5000, the crowd seeks to make Christ their king (John 6:15) but Christ dismisses them, sends the Apostles in a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee and goes into the hills to pray.  As with His formation of the Apostles by working through them in Feeding the 5000, Christ continues to form the Apostles through a trial by storm.

The Apostles depart in the darkness of night. A strong wind causes the sea to become violent and the Apostles strain to make progress rowing. Despite being seasoned fishermen, the Apostles are in great distress (literally “tortured”) as they are tossed about by the violent waves (Matt 14:24).

When they had rowed 3-4 miles, they see Christ walking on the sea, despite the complete darkness of the stormy night. Forgetting Christ’s earlier calming of the storm (Matt 8:23-27), the Apostles scream out in fear when they see Christ, believing Him to be ghost (Matt 14:26); Christ, in a preview of the Transfiguration, is supernaturally illuminated, visible among the dark violent waves. Christ’s rebuke is mysteriously heard over the howl of the wind: “It is I, do not be afraid.” The Apostles’ fear and desperation becomes gladness as Christ gets into the boat. Mysteriously, as soon as Christ gets in the boat, it immediately reaches shore.

Awed by Jesus ChristDivine King, Christ purposefully allows the disciples to experience a harrowing trial to strengthen their faith. Son of God, Christ has the knowledge and power to be seen in the dark, to miraculously walk on violent waves and to mysteriously transport the boat to shore.  Son of Man, Christ exhibits incredible stamina and strength, requiring little/sleep and exhibiting supernatural physical strength.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Because the account of Christ walking on water is familiar, it can lose its impact. Reflect on this astounding demonstration of Christ’s divinity.

2) By calling out “I AM”, Christ echoes God’s revelation to Moses in the burning bush (Ex 3:14) and confirm’s His divinity. During Easter, reflect on stupendous blessing of God’s gift of His Son (CCC 65-66) and pray for Christ to help you to know Him.

3) While fear is an important gift from God to help men survive, like all passions, fear can be used to grow in virtue (spurs heroic action) or decay into vice (cowardice, despair). Review the Catechism’s teaching on the Passions (CCC 1762-1774) and pray for Christ to send the Holy Spirit to help you grow in virtue through the passions and avoid vice.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Joyful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Blessed Virgin Mary

Virtue of the Day – Hope

Corporal Work of Mercy – To bury the dead

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To pray for the living and the dead