Thursday after Misericordias Domini
Scripture: St. John 6:16-29 (NKJV)
16 Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, 17 got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them. 18 Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing. 19 So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid. 20 But He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” 21 Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.
22 On the following day, when the people who were standing on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other boat there, except that one which His disciples had entered, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with His disciples, but His disciples had gone away alone—23 however, other boats came from Tiberias, near the place where they ate bread after the Lord had given thanks—24 when the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they also got into boats and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.
25 And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You come here?” 26 Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. 27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” 28 Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”
In today’s reading, we need to take special note of the signs which Jesus performs. Today’s reading immediately follows the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 and tells us of even more miracles. After Jesus had fed the multitude, He went to the mountain to be by Himself. Later that night, the disciples got into the boat to make the 6-7 mile journey to Capernaum. They only made it about half way when they saw a miracle, Jesus walking on the water. And if that weren’t enough, He no more than steps into their boat and “immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.”
Jesus did many signs which established Who He is: God in the flesh come to save His people. Yet, the people who followed Jesus and the disciples to Capernaum weren’t interested in Jesus for Who He is. Their only interest in Jesus was in the sign itself: “you ate of the loaves and were filled.” There are many charlatans who try to convince people they speak for God because of the signs and wonders they perform. It is not too difficult to see them for who they really are. Their supposed signs only serve to direct people away from Christ and Him crucified.
We know the real miracle, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” We can give thanks that God has miraculously opened our eyes to see the meaning of the signs, to see Jesus crucified for our sins.
“O Holy Spirit, grant us grace, that we our Lord and Savior in faith and fervent love embrace and truly serve Him ever, so that when death is drawing nigh, we to His open wounds may fly and find in them salvation.” Amen.