(I John 4:11-18; Mark 6:45-52)
With most people having stored away their Nativity scenes, the meaning of Christmas fades from memory. Surely the feast is meant to do more than stimulate the economy! No, first and foremost, Christmas reminds the world that God has come into its midst. This truth is amply demonstrated in the gospel reading today.
Jesus is capable of walking on water because he is God come to earth. The boat being tossed about by the waves symbolizes the Church in a sinful world. The winds churning up the waters represent human passions threatening goodness and truth. But Jesus’ presence saves the boat from these implacable forces.
Pleasure, power, prestige, even deep pockets lose their sway when we keep in mind that Jesus accompanies us. The celebration of Christmas assures us that God has made His appearance among us. Now we are to take notice that although the accoutrements of Christmas are gone, His presence remains forever.