(I John 4:11-18; Mark 6:45-52)
With Christmas receding into memory as we keep our gifts and return to our routines, we may forget the depth of its meaning. Surely the feast is meant to do more than recall the birth of Jesus two thousand years ago. No, we rejoice so emphatically because Christmas reminds us of the Son of God’s presence to his people today.
The gospel today underscores this truth as it shows Jesus, who is capable of walking on water because he is God, rejoining his disciples. The boat being tossed about by the waves symbolizes the Church in a sinful world. The winds churning up troubles represent human passions sweeping over believers and non-believers alike threatening goodness and truth. Only Jesus’ presence among us will save us from these otherwise implacable forces. Pleasure, power, prestige, even deep pockets lose their sway when we are aware of his company. The celebration of Christmas assures us that Jesus remains close by. He provides the ballast necessary to keep us from being overturned by destructive forces.