At the Sunday Angelus, Pope Francis recalls the Lord’s words for us to “take heart” and fear not, as He always accompanies us and is ready to save us from the headwinds and turbulent waters life brings us.
By Thaddeus Jones
Greetings the crowds of visitors in Saint Peter’s Square for the midday Angelus, Pope Francis offered his customary reflections on the Sunday Gospel which today narrates when Jesus walks at night on the waters of the lake of Galilee to reach his disciples in their boat being tossed about by strong headwinds and choppy waters.
Take heart and fear not
Recalling how Jesus told his disciples to leave ahead of him by crossing the lake by boat, the Pope explained how this episode allowed the disciples to eventually see how the Lord is master of all and overcomes the troubles and evils in our lives that frighten and condition us.
At that time, people viewed the great expanses of water with fear, especially during stormy weather, as these abysses symbolized chaos and the darkness of the underworld, the Pope explained. And the disciples became frightened as they encountered strong headwinds and rough seas while seeing Jesus walking on the water, fearing him to be a ghost.
The Pope explained how the Lord’s response, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid,” show the disciples how the Lord is above these troubles, and so “he tramples on these enemies for us,” whether death, sin, the devil.
Call on and welcome Jesus
Christ repeats to us as well to “take heart,” as He is with us, we are not alone on the turbulent waters of life, the Pope went on to say. And when the storms of life hit us, we too like the disciples should call on and welcome the Lord.
Just as the apostle Peter cried out, “Lord, save me!” when he began to sink in the water after accepting the Lord’s invitation to walk towards him, the Pope said we too should repeat this beautiful prayer that “expresses the certainty that the Lord can save us, that he conquers our evil and our fears.” The Pope then invited everyone in the Square to pray with him three times, “Lord, save me”!
Storms of opportunity
Navigating the turbulent seas and headwinds tossing the boat of our lives and the Church is the challenge we must all face, the Pope explained, as the Lord invites us to face difficulties, but with the trust in His presence and helping hand, offering salvific opportunities to meet Him.
Seek the light of Jesus
In conclusion, the Pope suggested we reflect on how we react when gripped by fear, whether we try to manage it on our own or if we call on the Lord to help us. Do we have faith and believe Christ is stronger than the waves and winds going against us? And do we invite the Lord into our lives in every circumstance, especially the turbulent ones, making room in “the boat of my life” and letting Him take the helm?