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.
“What sort of man is this?” Pope Francis has time and again reminded us that our faith is born from an encounter with a person, not an idea or a theory. If we believe that, can we avoid this question? For the apostles it is an exclamation as much as a question, born out of wonder at Jesus’ miraculous power. Their answer to that question was eventually to recognize Jesus as not just a man but God’s own self. It was an answer shown in their lives, in their willingness to obey him just as the wind and sea do (though with a few more mistakes, surely).
How do I answer that question? Is it from a spirit of wonder at a God who accompanies me? Do I answer it with my life, as the apostles did?
—Nick Courtney, SJ, is a Jesuit scholastic from the USA Central and Southern Province currently working at Strake Jesuit College Preparatory in Houston, TX, where he teaches history and coaches football.
Jesus, you came not to quiet storms but to reveal God’s love to us. Help me today to find a renewed sense of wonder in your presence. Give me eyes to see the ways you walk with me and a heart ready to answer and follow you, wherever you lead me. Amen.
—Nick Courtney, SJPlease share the Good Word with your friends!