Gospel Reflection – Saturday, April 13, 2024 – John 6,16-21 – Catholic Bible

First Reading (Acts 6:1-7)

Reading of the Acts of the Apostles.

In those days, the number of disciples had increased, and the faithful of Greek origin began to complain about the faithful of Hebrew origin. Those of Greek origin said that their widows were left out of daily care.

Then the Twelve Apostles gathered the crowd of disciples and said: “It is not right for us to leave the preaching of the Word of God to serve tables. Brothers, it is better that you choose from among you seven men of good report, full of the Spirit and wisdom, and we will entrust them with this task. In this way we will be able to dedicate ourselves entirely to prayer and the service of the Word.”

The proposal pleased the entire crowd. So they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit; and also Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicholas of Antioch, a pagan who followed the religion of the Jews. They were presented to the apostles, who prayed and laid hands on them.

Meanwhile, the Word of the Lord spread. The number of disciples grew greatly in Jerusalem, and a large crowd of Jewish priests accepted the faith.

– Word of the Lord.

– Thank God.

Gospel (John 6,16-21)

— Proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John.

— Glory to you, Lord.

At dusk, the disciples went down to the sea. They got into the boat and headed towards Capernaum, on the other side of the sea. It was already dark, and Jesus had not yet come to meet them.

A strong wind was blowing and the sea was rough. The disciples had rowed about five kilometers when they saw Jesus, walking on the water and approaching the boat. And they were scared.

But Jesus said, “It is I. Do not be afraid”. They then wanted to take Jesus into the boat, but immediately the boat arrived at the shore where they were going.

— Word of Salvation.

— Glory to you, Lord.

Reflecting the Word of God

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Today, I would like to begin our reflection with a question that resonates in our daily experiences: how do you deal with life’s adversities? We all face challenges, moments when we feel overwhelmed and unable to find a solution. It is in these situations that our faith is tested, and it is in these situations that we find the transformative truths of God’s Word.

Our readings today invite us to reflect on how we face adversity and how God acts in the midst of them. In the first reading, from the book of Acts of the Apostles, we are presented with a challenge faced by the early Christian community. The number of disciples was growing rapidly, and murmurings arose among the members as some felt neglected in the daily distribution of food.

Faced with this situation, the apostles called the community and asked them to choose seven men filled with the Holy Spirit to take on the task of taking care of the needs of the faithful. This wise and inspired decision allowed the apostles to dedicate themselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word. The community flourished and the Word of God spread powerfully.

This narrative teaches us an important lesson about the importance of community and cooperation in the face of adversity. As members of the body of Christ, we are called to come together and care for one another. When we face challenges, we must not isolate ourselves or compete with each other, but rather seek solutions together, in a spirit of love and mutual service.

This message is reinforced by the Gospel of John, which brings us the famous story of Jesus walking on water. After feeding the crowd with just five loaves of bread and two fish, Jesus orders his disciples to get into the boat and precede him to the other side of the sea. As they face headwinds and choppy waves, Jesus approaches walking on the water.

This scene is rich in symbolism and deep spiritual implications. The disciples represent each of us, navigating the turbulent waters of life. The waves and headwinds are the adversities and challenges we encounter on our path. And Jesus, walking on the water, shows us that He is present in the midst of our difficulties.

This story reveals three essential lessons to us. First, it reminds us that even when we face storms, Jesus is with us. He does not abandon us in the troubled waters of life, but draws near to us with His grace and power to sustain and strengthen us. In our darkest hours, we can find comfort and hope in the presence of Christ.

Second, this story teaches us about the importance of faith in the midst of adversity. Peter, upon seeing Jesus walking on the water, asks to go to Him. He has the courage to take a step of faith, but when he lets himself be carried away by fear and the circumstances around him, he begins to sink. Jesus reaches out and saves him, but also warns him about the smallness of his faith.

Just like Peter, we are challenged to trust Jesus and keep our faith firm, even in the midst of storms. When we face difficulties, it is easy to get carried away by fear and uncertainty. Yet it is precisely in these moments that we are called to look to Jesus and trust His promise that He is with us until the end of time.

The third lesson we draw from this story is the need for perseverance and trust in God. Jesus walked on the water until he reached the disciples’ boat, but He did not do so immediately. He waited until they had rowed about three or four miles. Jesus allows us to face challenges and difficulties, because it is through these situations that our faith is refined and strengthened.

Dear brothers and sisters, the biblical passages we reflect on today invite us to deeply reflect on how we face adversity in our lives. We are called to come together as a community, to care for each other, and to seek solutions together. We must not isolate or compete, but support each other in love and service.

Furthermore, we are called to trust Jesus, knowing that He is present in the midst of our storms. He walks through the troubled waters of our lives, reaching out to support and strengthen us. We must have the courage to take steps of faith and not let ourselves be carried away by fear or the circumstances around us.

And, finally, we are called to perseverance and trust in God. He allows us to face challenges, but He does not abandon us. He is with us every moment, guiding us and sustaining us. Through the storms, we are shaped and strengthened in our faith.

Dear brothers and sisters, may these spiritual truths become tangible and applicable in our daily lives. When we face adversity, let us remember to come together as a community, trust in Jesus, and persevere in our faith. Let us seek divine guidance in our actions and seek support from each other.

Just like the disciples in the boat, we will face headwinds and rough waves along our journey. But let us have hope, because Christ himself walks with us. He is our anchor in the midst of storms and the lighthouse that guides us to a safe haven.

May God’s grace strengthen us and enable us to live in accordance with these teachings. May our lives be living witnesses to the transforming power of the Word of God. And that, in the midst of adversity, we find peace, hope and joy in our faith in Jesus Christ.

Let us pray that as we face the storms of life, we will be strengthened in our faith, united as a community, and filled with the confidence that Jesus is with us. May He guide and sustain us in all circumstances, leading us to a full and abundant life.

So be it. Amen.