Do Not Be Afraid – Br. Lucas Hall

"Br.John 6:16-21

“It is I; do not be afraid.”1This is a familiar pattern. The Gospel narratives are full of instances where Jesus appears to his followers in a way that causes them terror. These experiences of fear seem to come in response to those moments in which Christ’s divinity is revealed, full and alive within his human vesture. In Mark’s Gospel, the angel of the Lord tells the women at the tomb that Jesus has arisen as he said; to this, we respond, “Alleluia,”2but this news prompted the women to flee from the tomb, “for terror and amazement had seized them.”At the Transfiguration, Peter, James, and John are clearly astonished throughout the episode, but fall over in terror at the Father’s proclamation that, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” This fear is only calmed by Jesus touching the disciples and telling them “do not be afraid.”4

But then, Jesus’s revelation does not only cause fear among his disciples. In John’s Gospel, Christ asks the company of men who had come to arrest him, “Whom are you looking for?” They answer, “Jesus of Nazareth,” and he replies, “I am he.” At this, the men “stepped back and fell to the ground.”Falling to the ground implies an uncontrolled, instinctual response. Like a person whose hand touches the hot burner of a stove, this is not a thought-out reaction. Read More

Into the Boat – Br. Luke Ditewig

Br. Luke DitewigJohn 6:16-21

In the dark while crossing the lake, a strong wind whips the waves wild. Tense, holding on tight, they row in the rough three or four miles, straining, anxious.

Yesterday evening we chanted Psalm 107, including:

“Some went to the sea in ships and plied their trade in the deep waters.

A stormy wind arose, which tossed high the waves of the sea.

They mounted up to the heavens and fell back to the depths;

their hearts melted because of their peril” (v23-26).

There in the middle, in the storm, on the sea, in the dark, a figure appears, walking on water. Jesus sparks further fright in the night.

Jesus says: “It is I. Do not be afraid.”

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