Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio, Chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature, Wednesday 8 January 2020
Gospel: Mark 6:34-44
After the multiplication of the loaves, Jesus ordered the disciples to go into the boat. Why? The Gospel of John says the following. According to the hope people had at that time, the Messiah would repeat the gesture of Moses and would feed the multitude in the desert. This is why, before the multiplication of the loaves, the people concluded that Jesus must be the expected Messiah, announced by Moses and they wanted to make Him a King. 
This decision of the people was a temptation. For this reason, Jesus obliged the disciples to take the boat and leave. He wanted to avoid the risk of them being contaminated with the dominant ideology, because the “leaven of Herod and of the Pharisees” was very strong. Jesus Himself faces the temptation through prayer.
On one side, Jesus goes up to the mountain to pray. On the other, the disciples go toward the sea and get into the boat. It almost seems like a symbolical picture which foreshadows the future: it is as if Jesus went up to Heaven, leaving the disciples alone in the midst of the contradictions of life, in the fragile boat of the community. It was night. They are in the high seas, all together in the small boat, trying to advance, but the wind was strong and against them. They were tired. The communities of the time of Mark were like the disciples. In the night! Contrary wind! Jesus seemed to be absent! This is very symbolic of the times. But He was present and came close to them, and they, like the disciples on the way to Emmaus, did not recognize Him.