"Lord, save me!" Peter cried out as he became frightened and began to sink as he walked on the troubled sea (Mt 14: 30). Jesus walked on troubled water, stirred by the wind. The wind was blowing against the boat the apostles were riding. The disciples of Christ were filled with fear because they could not contend with the fearsome power of the wild wind rocking their craft to the point of capsizing. The wind against the boat symbolizes the trials and tribulations dealt upon the Church, on Christians, and the need to direct our cries for help to Jesus, who is always quietly present in our midst.
God never fails to help his friends when they call upon him. In the first reading from 1 King 19, Elijah fled for his life from a raging and vengeful Jezebel to the cave of Mt Horeb to draw strength from God, who made himself present to him in "a tiny whispering sound." God is always present with his troubled and endangered children, sometimes in simple and gentle ways. In their fright due to the threatening winds, Jesus reveals himself to his disciples and reaches out to save them. He responds to their cry for help because he is true to his identity as Iesus Hominum Salvator, a Latin abbreviation we find on our sacred lines, vestments and vessels, meaning "Jesus, Savior of Humankind."
What are the winds blowing against our Church and us at the moment? There are several forms of treacherous winds blowing against our progress to heaven, enemies of the faith: from lack of belief in the real presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist to the corruption of will and morals due to the secularism and materialism sweeping across the world like a raging wildfire. The tsunami of stress, worries, and anxiety threatening to capsize our spiritual boats can be arrested and tamed when we look up to Jesus, who is always present and reaching out to save us. If we turn to Jesus in faith and confess him humbly and honestly as "the Son of God," he will step into our boat and calm down the wind of life-endangering problems. Jesus, our savior, is bigger and greater than all the winds of evil that scare and trouble us. And his promise to come to our rescue is ever dependable because he is the Son of God.
Last Monday, we had a heavy storm just before our parish's Monthly Eucharistic Adoration. It was so intense and terrifying enough to blow away my umbrella as I approached my car from the rectory. But the storm failed to deter from going forth. I was more concerned at this point about those planning to attend; I was concerned for their safety if they chose to attend Adoration despite the inclement weather. We had a decent number of adorers who braved the storm to be present to Jesus, who made himself present to us in the Blessed Sacrament. We turned to Jesus in prayers for all our parishioners. All who could not attend because of the heavy storm were represented by those in attendance, and all received a benediction from Jesus, who is always present to those who call on him. Jesus always comes to save all who cry to him for help. Sometimes, He may delay, but he never disappoints those who anchor themselves unto him in faith.
Are you in the midst of any trial at the moment? Jesus is here to the rescue. Recognize him as the Son of God, a friend and lover of your soul. In faith, look up to him. Pray constantly without wavering in faith. One of the most efficient ways of coming into the presence of Jesus is a turn to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Pray the Rosary of Our Blessed Mother Mary assumed into heaven. She always appeals to her Son and Savior, Jesus Christ, on behalf of all her sons and daughters who seek her intercession.
Do not forget to attend the Mass of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Monday evening and Tuesday. Please plan to participate in the mass of the Assumption, not because it is a day of obligation but because you love the Blessed Mother, and our Lord Jesus would be honored when you honor his mother. She is our best intercessor before Jesus- To Jesus through Mary.
O Mary, Assumed into Heaven, pray for us who have recourse to thee. Amen.
In His Joy,
Fr. Alayode Bernard, OP