Dear friends in Christ,
Christ is in our Boat
I have a confession. Nothing puts more fear into me than flight turbulence. Each time a sudden shift in air currents bumps my plane, I cringe. I'm not too fond of flying because of turbulence during flights; it makes me dread being a passenger on an aircraft in flight. The apostles feared their boat capsizing due to roaring and destructive waves swaying it over the sea as they cross to the other side of the shore at the instruction of Jesus. I share their feelings. And, Yes, Jesus was in the boat with them. He was asleep through it all as the furious storms tug their boat up and down the sea.
We can compare the loud and destructive storm rocking the boat in which the disciples inhabit with trials, difficulties, and tragedy that we face in life. These fear factors threaten the peace and faith of the most devout Christians. We all face furious winds and stormy seas in our day-to-day living. We have our daily long and short-term fears and anxiety related to our health, family, children, finance, career, and other life-related matters. These can be faith-testing fears. Like what turbulences in flight do to me and, I dare to say, many others, the trials and tragedies we experience in our lifetime can be a significant threat to our faith in God's presence and power.
We may feel abandoned when we pray to God, and it may appear he is deaf to our cry to him during these threats to our faith. But the lesson from the Scriptures this Sunday is not to let our fears make us forget who God is and what he can do. The God we worship is the same one who told Job amid his stormy trials about his divine omnipotence by reminding him of his power over wild nature: "Who shut within doors the sea… and said: Thus far shall you come but no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stilled!" (Job 38:8, 11). Jesus, our Lord, "rebuked the wind, and said to the sea: Quiet! Be Still!" (Mk 4:38).
Jesus is in our boat, in our life, family, Church, and world at large, even as the fear of the unknown assails us. Jesus is present; wake him up with prayers. Cry to Him in supplication as the disciples did amidst scary wind against their boat. When the winds are against our soul and faith, let us call on Jesus, who never abandons us. We need to have the kind of intimacy the disciples had with Jesus. When we truly live for Jesus and are new creatures in him (2 Cor. 5: ), we can cry to him in faith, and he will give us calmness and strength. The storm will not destroy us because Jesus is in our boat. The turbulence will not crash my plane because Jesus is in it with me, and the plane is built strong enough to withstand the air currents rocking it. We should not give in to fear but allow our fear to confirm our faith. Then, in faith, we can say, Lord, let us hear "Quiet! Be Still!"
Let me conclude by wishing our fathers a Happy Father's Day!
In the love of Christ,
Fr. Bernard, OP