Homily for Wednesday, January 6, 2016

There you are… in the middle of a storm. Things are looking bad. The boat is probably going to sink. You are probably going to drown. And here comes Jesus, truckin’ along… walking on the water.

Would that get your attention? Would it make you wonder what was going on… how Jesus could walk on the water in the midst of a raging storm. It’s not what you might expect to see. It’s not within the normal human experience.

After all, only a short time before, Jesus had fed 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish… and had twelve basketsful left over. Scripture tells us the disciples had not understood the miracle of the loaves – and I don’t mean in the way we understand it, as a prefigurement of the Eucharist – but even a basic understanding: that this was a miracle done by the Son of God.

Scripture tells us that the hardness of their hearts prevented their seeing. A hardness of heart was also attributed to those who did not accept Jesus and who plotted His death.

Our own hardness of hear can cause us to miss much that is important in the spiritual life. Hardness of heart blinds us to the movement of God; it puts the emphasis on the natural world… on the circumstances and conditions at hand… and takes the focus off of our relationship with Christ. At its extreme, it prevents us from recognizing Christ for who He is: The Son of the Living God.

Sin and pride will harden our hearts. Repentance and humility are the cure; we must recognize our dependence on God and turn to Him to ask for His mercy, for, as we heard in the first reading today, God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him. Let us never cease asking the Lord to take away foolish pride and give us the heart of Christ, a heart made for love as God intends., a heart made for love as God intends.

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