Reflection on this Sunday's Gospel
The Gospel this Sunday contains an epiphany: Jesus is revealed as God, and with their little faith the disciples recognise this and worship him.
Jesus comes to the disciples in the fourth watch of the night, probably sometime just before dawn. They have been fighting with headwinds ever since he left them the previous evening. And when Jesus meets them, he reveals his divinity to them saying “It is I” and urges them, as he and the prophets before him so often did, not to be afraid. At the end they do him homage, just as did the magi before the crib.
It is interesting, I think, that all this happens not after the feeding of the multitude but in the fourth watch of the night. Jesus left the disciples the previous evening and spent the night in prayer while they battled against headwinds. They have not despaired as they do on other occasions, but it has clearly been a hard time. It is sometime after 3 am, and probably close to the first light of dawn, that he comes to them.
As many people struggle at the moment with what is becoming a long night and find themselves against strong headwinds this Gospel reminds us that Jesus is God. He comes with all the strength and power over things that threaten us of the one who is the Lord of Creation. That this encounter happens only after the disciples have had the experience of a hard night should give us hope and courage. The dawn will come, and when it does our Saviour will be revealed and our hearts will be filled with joy. In the meanwhile, our little faith will be enough, and the Lord will hold us firmly by the hand and pray to his Father on our behalf.