9 January 2019. Wednesday after Epiphany
Reflection (Sem. John Paul S. Adia)
Can a man have faith without understanding? If so, then definitely, that faith is in vain. Is God a God of secrets? He wants us to know Him, for in knowing Him then we can love Him more. St. Anselm would define our Christian belief as faith seeking understanding. We are not merely left with aimless passion or fanaticism. We try to know who we are believing. We know God, though definitely not fully. He reveals Himself. Thus, we should have that open mind with His own revelation in our lives.
Before the calming of the storm, the disciples in the Gospel witnessed how Jesus cured and fed thousands of people. This was never an ordinary event in their lives but rather than knowing the true divinity of Jesus, they ended up fearing Him and mistook Him for a ghost. Can a ghost do such works of wonder? Even in our lives, we find it hard to recognize the presence of God. Other things overwhelm us that we tend to forget all the wonderful things that God has done for us.
Even in my seminary life, I experienced this kind of little faith. Seminary formation is both challenging and uncertain. Our entrance is never an assurance that we will end up graduating or even be ordained in the future. I experienced a lot of struggles that shook my faith in my vocation. I cried many times because I thought that I was going to leave. But God is the one who calls. I sometimes measure my persistence with my own capacity but forget that God is the one who qualifies the one he calls. I stumble and fall but God continues to pick me up whenever I am down and feel that I cannot hold on anymore. And when I recall the past years of my formation, I am definitely sure that God guided and helped me to reach this point in my formation nearing the end and, hopefully, ready enough to face the challenges in my own diocese.
The Gospel Today
After the five thousand had eaten and were satisfied,
Jesus made his disciples get into the boat
and precede him to the other side toward Bethsaida,
while he dismissed the crowd.
And when he had taken leave of them,
he went off to the mountain to pray.
When it was evening,
the boat was far out on the sea and he was alone on shore.
Then he saw that they were tossed about while rowing,
for the wind was against them.
About the fourth watch of the night,
he came toward them walking on the sea.
He meant to pass by them.
But when they saw him walking on the sea,
they thought it was a ghost and cried out.
They had all seen him and were terrified.
But at once he spoke with them,
“Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!”
He got into the boat with them and the wind died down.
They were completely astounded.
They had not understood the incident of the loaves.
On the contrary, their hearts were hardened.