Commentary on the Gospel of
John 6:16-21 The joy of reunion with Jesus
They saw Jesus walking on the sea
“It is I; do not be afraid.”
- They were glad to take him into the boat.
In spite of the fact that Jesus lived and communed with his disciples, from time to time he manifested his divine presence – giving them the opportunity of having a mystic experience! He was away to the mountains, as was his custom, but suddenly he reappears, this time ‘they saw Jesus walking on the sea! As would have been a spectacular for you and I, the disciples were thrilled with a mixture of emotions, predominantly fear!
Divine presence, without exception, is always marked with a mystic experience, marked with a qualitative transforming experience. One recalls for instance Moses’ experience of the ‘burning bush,’ or Saul’s encounter with the risen Lord on his way to Damascus. Each mystic experience such as these effects holistic transformation in the person who encounters the Lord! What opportunities provide moments of exceptional divine presence for you? For some people dwelling on the Word of God creates the environment; for some others, participation in the Eucharistic celebration generates this moment of transforming divine presence; yet, for others the moment of adoration of the real presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharistic. What provides and boosts this opportunity in your spiritual journey?
As usual, our Lord transforms the situation of the disciples as he does for us too: calms them down, alleviates their fear, “It is I; do not be afraid.” His soothing voice performs the miracle. He introduces peace and trust into their relationship! What about you, a friend of Jesus? What does your encounter bring forth into relationships with others after encountering Him? Jesus talks and there is peace and calmness; Jesus talks and the troubled is relieved; Jesus talks and the frightened regains courage; Jesus talks and the sick is healed! What a modelling! What happens when the friend of Christ talks? What happens when you enter where others are?
No wonder ‘they were glad to take him into the boat.’ His presence nurtures reassurance, rebuilds hope, nourishes communion. In other word, the presence of Jesus is full of positive feelings: energizing and uplifting those who encounter him. The wise decision remains to ‘stay with Jesus’ always.