7th January

Today’s gospel was Mk 6:46-52

After saying goodbye to the crowd Jesus went off into the hills to pray. When eveningcourage came, the boat was far out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. He could see that they were hard pressed in their rowing, for the wind was against them; and about the fourth watch of the night he came towards them, walking on the sea. He was going to pass them by, but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost and cried out; for they had all seen him and were terrified. But at once he spoke to them and said, ‘Courage! It’s me! Don’t be afraid.’ 
Then he got into the boat with them and the wind dropped. They were utterly and completely dumbfounded, because they had not seen what the miracle of the loaves meant; their minds were closed.

In my few words of a homily, I mentioned the saying that “The courageous only die once but those without courage die a thousand times.” So where do we get our courage – from ourselves or from some other source? Christians get their courage from Jesus – the same Jesus who said to the terrified and despairing disciples: ‘Courage! It’s me! Don’t be afraid.’ Note however that Jesus expects us to invite him into our boats, such is his respect for our freedom. It is clear that he was going to pass them by before the disciples cried out to him.

As we reflect on the Magi returning to their own lands after visiting the baby Jesus, you may like to watch this video of the carol “We three kings”