January 5th, 2022

Introducing Dn. Ray Emnace who is assigned to Holy Trinity Parish in Los Angeles and is the auxiliary deacon to Deacon5.

The Gospel according to Mark 6:45-52

After the five thousand had eaten and were satisfied, Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side toward Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. And when he had taken leave of them, he went off to the mountain to pray.  When it was evening, the boat was far out on the sea and he was alone onshore.  Then he saw that they were tossed about while rowing, for the wind was against them.  About the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them walking on the sea.  He meant to pass by them.  But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out.  They had all seen him and were terrified.  But at once he spoke with them, “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!” He got into the boat with them and the wind died down. They were completely astounded. They had not understood the incident of the loaves. On the contrary, their hearts were hardened.

Reflection: I’d love to tell you that coming to Jesus, your problems would be over. That once you surrender to Him, your life would be easier, that life with Christ would be a smooth road. But I can’t. 

Life with Christ as a Catholic is tough – filled with difficulties, pain, and loss, but also filled with unbelievable joy and happiness. But life without Christ is even tougher. What hope is there for someone without faith when they lose a loved one? Where would one turn to when you can’t find solace or peace from family or friends?

There are times what God allows us to venture into a violent “storm”  – He moves us in a certain direction, we get involved in a certain ministry, or make a certain decision that we cannot handle. When He does that – He is there with us, He is watching over us and we are never out of His sight! He will carry us through it!

What we need to be cautious of is that “our hearts are not hardened.” This happened to the apostles because they didn’t understand the miracles that Jesus was performing – understanding them would mean that they had control over what was taking place – and the reality is that they didn’t have control, we don’t have control.  Their misunderstanding, our misunderstanding causes us not to believe and to doubt Jesus. We must open ourselves and allow Christ to penetrate our hearts, minds, and souls – when that happens, then will our eyes be open to the beauty and gift God gives us every day!

Action of the Day: Add five (5) minutes to your prayer time. What areas in your life is your heart hardened? Ask our Lord & His Mother to help soften that part of your life. Is there someone you need to forgive?  Is there someone you need to ask for forgiveness? Reach out to them today!  

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