And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. A windstorm arose on the sea, so great that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him up, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm. They were amazed, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Today’s readings from Genesis and Matthew immerse us in two different “storms.” Lot and his family leave the fire and brimstone of Sodom under the Lord’s protection with firm instructions not to stop or look back. Alas, Lot’s wife does look back and is turned immediately into a pillar of salt.
A sudden and violent rainstorm on the Sea of Galilee threatens to capsize the boat Jesus and his followers are traveling in. Alas Jesus is asleep as the boat is being swamped. In a panic the apostles shake him awake. “Lord, save us,” they cry. “We are perishing!”
Two insights: we can learn from Lot’s wife that spending time on the hurts and failures of the past will only corrode my heart with resentment. I really will perish if I nurse such hurt feelings. Rather, if I focus my eyes on the face of Jesus and walk into the future in his firm grasp, the winds and sea really will calm down. And with those first apostles we can marvel today: “Who is this that even the winds and sea obey him?”
–The Jesuit Prayer team
“No storm can shake my inmost calm, while to that rock I’m clinging. Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth, how can I keep from singing?”
–Excerpted from “How Can I Keep from Singing,”
a hymn text by Robert Lowry (1826-1899).