Fr Paul Gooley reads from the Gospel of John (6: 16-21) in which the Jesus approaches his disciples’ boat walking on the water saying, ‘It is I, don’t be afraid.’

Fr Paul says the Greek ‘Ego eimi’ literally means ‘I am’ but sadly it translates in the Gospel as ‘It is I’.

So, in this Gospel we hear today Jesus say: ‘It is I. Do not be afraid’. These words do not really give justice to the deeper meaning that John wants us to be aware of. ‘I am’ is how God refers to himself in the Old Testament, especially when he makes his presence felt by us to help us overcome our fear.

In John’s Gospel then Jesus makes ‘I am’ statements to give strong overtones of divinity. In this Gospel today, Jesus comes to his frightened disciples as one who has power over the strong wind. The disciples, therefore, have nothing to fear.

Fr Paul says today’s Gospel Lesson – With faith in Jesus, we have nothing to fear either.