1st Reading: Acts 6:1-7
In those days, as the number of disciples grew, the so-called Hellenists complained against the so-called Hebrews, because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. So the Twelve summoned the whole body of disciples together and said, “It is not right that we should neglect the word of God to serve at tables. So, friends, choose from among yourselves seven respected men full of Spirit and wis-dom, that we may appoint them to this task. As for us, we shall give ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word.”
The whole community agreed and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and Holy Spirit; Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parme-nus and Nicolaus of Antioch who was a proselyte. They presented these men to the apostles who first prayed over them and then laid hands upon them.
The Word of God continued to spread, and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly and even many priests accepted the faith.
Gospel: John 6:16-21
When evening came, the disciples went down to the shore. After a while they got into a boat to make for Capernaum on the other side of the sea, for it was now dark and Jesus had not yet come to them. But the sea was getting rough because a strong wind was blowing.
They had rowed about three or four miles, when they saw Jesus walking on the sea, and he was drawing near to the boat. They were frightened, but he said to them, “It is Me; don’t be afraid.”
They wanted to take him into the boat, but immediately the boat was at the shore to which they were going.
The Jews were no sailors: in fact they feared and hated the sea. They did not even bother to distinguish the different bodies of water correctly: they spoke of the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea, though both of these are lakes, not seas. At the bottom of the sea, it was said, lurked Leviathan, the mythological monster of chaos. The significance of Jesus’ walking on the water is then clear: he has conquered evil. (How we turn miracles into conjuring tricks, missing their meaning! We have lost the power of symbolism.) A Christian is not allowed the grim pleasure of being fatalistic about evil. Evil will not be victorious, Christ has triumphed over evil and death.
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