1 Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists murmured against the Hebrews because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.2 And the twelve summoned the body of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables.
3 Therefore, brethren, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this duty.4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”5 And what they said pleased the whole multitude, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch.
6 These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands upon them.7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.
16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea,17 got into a boat, and started across the sea to Caperna-um. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.18 The sea rose because a strong wind was blowing.19 When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat. They were frightened,20 but he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.”21 Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.
THE FIRST READING: Now that the Apostles did not have to look over their shoulders or worry about what their enemies were up to, they found it nesserary to delineate between ecclesiastical and the temporal needs of the flock. With this said, they appointed men of good repute to take care of the needs of the poor and elderly whilst they focused on matters of faith, doctrine and the proclamation of the word as far and wide as possible.
THE GOSPEL READING: After the multiplication of the loaves Jesus withdrew to the mountain to pray whilst His disciples took a boat to cross over to Caperna-um without Christ. No sooner did they embark upon the water when a strong wind developed that tossed them to and fro, leaving them in a fearful panic stricken state. It took as long as three or four miles —before they saw Christ slowly making His way to rescue and console these fearful bedraggled saturated apostles!
The psalmist remind us who have partaken of the Eucharistic bread to not take our eyes off the LORD, for He shall rescue the faithful righteous who fear, hope and steadfastly love Him, be it in times of uncertainty, hunger or danger. It thus follows that we never lose hope or throw in the towel or jump overboard to escape our mission or vocation, be it as husband, wife, father, mother, priest deacon or lay person. Instead, invite Christ into our boat for He is the antithesis of fear, worry or panic! Let us also continuously row our boat, whilst draining the water—baggage—that slows us down— looking ahead and focusing our gaze on Christ who will deliver us from our beleaguered situations.
LET US PRAY:Psalms 33:1-2,4-5,18-19
1 Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright.2 Praise the LORD with the lyre, make melody to him with the harp of ten strings!4 For the word of the LORD is upright; and all his work is done in faithfulness.5 He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD.18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love,19 that he may deliver their soul from death, and keep them alive in famine.
Commentary. Henry R SYLVESTER Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days.
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