Preface: Dominican Sisters of Peace are members of the Order of Preachers. We are called to preach the Word of God with our lives, our actions and our words. When called forth to preach, we pray with the scripture, read commentaries on it, and look for its relevancy to people’s lives and our world. Then, we step forth in faith and share the fruits of our contemplation. Often, this takes place in the context of the Liturgy of the Hours, a retreat day or from the pulpit when appropriate. Recently, I spent some time reflecting on the account of Jesus Walking on the Water. I would like to share that reflection with you today.
A reflection on John 6:16 – 21
Jesus seems to make a habit of scaring his disciples.
To be honest, if I was in the boat crossing the sea to Capernaum, I would die of fright at the sight of Jesus taking a stroll on the open sea. At least, I’d be in good company with the disciples, as we read in this passage, “they began to be afraid.” Jesus reassured them by saying, “It is I. Do not be afraid.” His saying this to me would have sealed my fate and I definitely would have fainted. However, his disciples, being people of much greater faith than I and having walked with him and seen or heard about him doing miraculous things like this before, believed him because of their experience.
One of my favorite Dominican Saints, Catherine of Siena, trusted Jesus with all of her heart, mind and spirit. Jesus was her constant companion as she spent time in her tiny room under the stairs of her family home. In the Dialogue, she shares the intimate conversations she has with God as she grows in her own faith and in her relationship with him.
This deep faith and trust she had in Jesus helped her to find the courage to step out from her inner room to serve her family and the people of Siena. Her confidence in God’s will also aided her as she spoke out to the political and ecclesiastical leaders of her time. She was not afraid because she knew she was being called and led by her beloved. Her prophetic leadership helped to bring about unity in her country and church.
Whose prophetic voice is being drawn forth today? Are we, am I, and are you willing to speak truth to power? We live in a time of great upheaval, destruction of our planet, turmoil in the lives of our people, and the passing of entire species. At the same time, we believe that God is guiding us, giving us the courage and the words to speak – to shout from the rooftops.
What is the message God is calling us to preach today? Will you? Will I?
Is God calling you to preach that message with your life as a Dominican Sister of Peace? If so, contact us to begin the conversation. As Jesus encouraged his disciples, “Do not be afraid.”