Saturday of the Second Week of Easter

Sailing the lake, today

When it was evening, his disciples went down to the sea, embarked in a boat, and went across the sea … It had already grown dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea was stirred up because a strong wind was blowing.  When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they began to be afraid. But he said to them, “It is I. Do not be afraid.” They wanted to take him into the boat, but the boat immediately arrived at the shore to which they were heading. Jn 6,16-21

It is easy to see our family history unravelling in this story of the Lake crossing. The disciples who got on the boat and headed to Capernaum, on the other side of the lake, are simply us. Years ago, we were a good Christian family, people who went to Mass on Sundays, worked all week long and were busy to keep afloat the family boat. But in our lives, as well as for those disciples sailing, the sea was often made rough by the winds that blow in society. We got to know  unemployment, misunderstandings, some health problems and, despite loving us, we have occasionally argued for that widespread concern admirably described by Saint Augustine: “My heart is restless, Lord, until it rests in you.”. We saw The Lord walking on water at the Mass on Sunday, but he had not yet mounted steadily on our family boat, because we had not yet made room for him. He was a distant Lord, and like the disciples of today’s Gospel, he scared us a little with those life proposals, so demanding and in no uncertain terms. Then, more than thirty years ago, we allowed him to get on our boat when we adopted Maria Carmela and we made room for him beginning to attend the prayer group of Charismatic Renewal in Saronno. At the beginning, with all those changes in our family life, the arrival of the children one after the other and heavier and heavier working commitments, the weight of the boat increased considerably. The winds still blew and at certain points they were also strong, but the boat sailed quietly because we put the helm in the hands of the Lord. As time passed by, the children, one after the other, have got off our boat and started sailing on the lake with their own ones, while we are quietly approaching the other shore, with the Lord always at the helm. Sometimes, when someone congratulates us on our family adventure, full of children, commitments, sharing and prayer, we feel like smiling and we can not help testifying that it’s all the Lord’s credit. We have only made some room.

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