Wednesday, January 05, 2022

Take Courage

“Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid!” 

Mark 6:50

On the first day of our trip to Coron in 2019, we went on a 1 1/2 hour ride to Malcapuya Island where the white sand beach just went on and on under the water. Before we got there, the waves were high and rough and most of us were afraid, even with our life jackets on. I kept my eye on the middle pole in the boat because it looked as if it was about to crack! One of the passengers got her rosary out and started praying. She said she had called on the guardian angels of her daughters for protection. Our outrigger had to rescue another boat whose propeller had bent because it hit a rock in the rough seas. We towed that boat filled with passengers to shore. 

The men who were manning our boat were just laughing because they were used to going out in such weather, but the disciples, who were hardy fishermen, were not so complacent. They were terrified! Their boat was tossed about when Jesus came and walked on the sea. They had seen Him and thought He was a ghost. “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid,” Jesus said, then He got into the boat with them and the wind died down.

Sometimes we too are tossed into the rough waters of circumstance. It may be that we are very sick, or our business is floundering and we do not know what to do, or a wayward child is put in jail, or a parent has worsening dementia. These days it is this unending pandemic that is tossing our boat and we are all unsure about when and how this will end. We just know we need Jesus in our boat, and we pray in our need and our frustration. 

If we have Jesus in our boat, the seas outside may toss our boat, but our hearts can be calm and our mind peaceful. “Perfect love casts out all fear,” it says in 1 John 4:18. Let us strive to know Jesus who is that perfect love who will drive out any fear or anxiety in our hearts. I like to recount the beautiful words of 16th century Spanish mystic Saint Teresa de Ávila. This prayer was found written in her breviary by her own hand: “Let nothing disturb you, nothing frighten you, All things are passing. God never changes. Patience obtains all things. Whoever has God lacks nothing. God is enough.”

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:^) Patsy