Wednesday after Epiphany
"He saw that they were tossed about while rowing..."
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger [Benedict XVI, Pope from 2005 to 2013]
The God of Jesus Christ
"He saw that they were tossed about while rowing.. . About the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them"
The apostles were crossing the lake. Jesus alone is on land, while they are wearing themselves out in rowing without making any headway since the wind is contrary. Jesus is praying and, in his prayer, he see them struggling on. So he comes to meet them. Clearly this text is full of ecclesiological symbols: the apostles on the sea with the wind against them and the Lord with the Father. But what is decisive is that while praying, when he is “with the Father”, he is not removed from them; very much to the contrary, it is while praying that he sees them. When Jesus is with the Father, he is present to the Church. The problem of the final coming of Christ is here deepened and transformed in a Trinitarian way: Jesus sees the Church in the Father and, by the Father’s power and the strength of his communication with him, is present to her. It is precisely this communication with the Father when he is “on the mountain” that makes him present and, conversely, the Church is, so to speak, the object of the encounter between Father and Son and thus herself anchored in the Trinitarian life.