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Good News for the Day, January 9, 2019 Wednesday after Epiphany 213 After the five thousand had eaten and got filled, Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side—toward Bethsaida—while He was saying goodbye to the crowd. Once he had taken leave of the people, he went off up to the highlands alone to pray. By evening, the boat was far out on the sea of Galilee; He was alone on shore. He observed (!) that they were tossed about while rowing, the wind being against them. Deep in the middle of the night, he came toward them—walking on the sea. He seemed to want to just pass by them. When they saw him walking on the sea, though, they thought it was a ghost and shrieked. They had all seen him and were just terrified. But right away, He spoke with them "Be brave; it’s me; don’t be afraid!" He got into the boat with them. The wind died down. They were completely stunned. They had not “gotten” the incident of the loaves. On the contrary, “the heart was obtuse” (literally) /their hearts were hardened. (Mark 6) Sometimes, you and I miss the miracles right in front of us—events which happen that the world misses—and so do we. A surprising kindness in a grocery store, an angry man who apologizes, a baby’s appearance that calms a situation, a struggling poor mother’s heroic effort to get a job, a homeless man who helps his neighbor. No, these are not striking miracles of walking on water. They are ones you can see—and do yourself. Help a troubled teen-ager with real attention a courage to involve yourself with someone whose face suggests a troubled heart—yes, someone who might misunderstand you. You are Jesus to see boats of others tossed around in the storms of life. You are the one who, having been in prayer, now comes with calming presence to such folks, inviting them to courage and peace. Their reaction may run the gamut from disdain and laughter to anger and fear—to acceptance. People do not always see you for who you are—friends and strangers reluctant to be helped and humble. But you manage to get in the boat with them—share their storms—feel their terrors, understand their viewpoint. Your attitude—your spirit—is one that overcomes storms—unafraid of what may come. You confront the uncomfortable. You accept the contradictions. You see the world that a troubled person sees. That keeps your heart open, and not hardened. To yourself—and the other—you say, “Be Brave; it’s me; don’t be afraid.”