After witnessing Jesus feeding thousands with only several loaves of bread and a few fish, then seeing him walk on water and calm the storm, the disciples have seen him perform two miracles in one day. This is all so confusing to them as it is still early in his ministry and the disciples are trying to figure out who this Jesus really is and where they fit in as his followers. Their hearts are “hardened,” meaning they are not open to comprehending the acts they see Jesus perform. He reminds them by saying “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!”

When we find ourselves confused in our faith journey, it can sometimes be intimidating, as we are uncertain of the direction we are heading. Often times, in many gospel passages, Jesus reminds his followers not to be afraid and to trust and believe in him. Are we listening to his assurances that, even in the most difficult trials and tribulations of our lives, Jesus is always watching over us and will help guide us, if we only “soften” our hearts to his message?

John and Katie Nicolau are active members of Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in Glenview IL, where they have lived for over 23 years. They have been married for 32 years and have 4 children, three of whom graduated from Loyola Academy, Wilmette, IL, John’s alma mater. John also serves on the board of Charis, a Jesuit ministry for young adults.