“‘It is I. Do not be afraid.’”
How can the presence of Jesus cause fear in people? Contrast today’s Gospel passage with the scene of the Annunciation.
Jesus says to the apostles in today’s Gospel passage what the Archangel Gabriel says to Mary: “Do not be afraid!” Is it odd that God’s Presence—or even the news of His desire to come and be present—so often causes fear?
Do you feel fear when you sense God’s desire to enter into your “boat”? Can you welcome Him with the faith and trust of our Blessed Mother? What other parallels are there between today’s Gospel passage and the Annunciation?
One parallel would be between the physical structure of the boat in today’s Gospel passage and the physical and spiritual dimensions of Mary as a person. The parallel is not exact. But a boat (or to use an archaic word, “barque”) is used in Catholic theology as a symbol for the Church, in which dwell the members of the Body of Christ. Mary, as the Theotokos or “God-bearer”, is the Mother of Christ and therefore the Mother of the Church and all her members.