On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped.
But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?”
And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind 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 gospel episode follows a day of teaching by Jesus. Here he reveals himself as the powerful worker of wonders. Words and actions are the two dimensions of Jesus’ life. We imitate these two dimensions in each of our seven sacraments, for every sacrament has both actions and words. (In classic theological language we call this “matter and form.”)
For centuries the storm-tossed fisherman’s boat has been an image for our Church. Don’t we often experience ourselves as storm-tossed?
But there is Jesus, nice and comfortable, sheltered in the stern of the boat from the waves crashing over the boat, with his head on a cushion! He seems oblivious to what we are going through?
“Do you not yet have faith?” Jesus asks. Don’t we realize that to have faith is to know deep down in our hearts that someone, somewhere isn’t stupid? This realization can indeed fill us today with awe and reverence.
—Fr. Bob Braunreuther, S.J., a New England Jesuit, assists in pastoral ministry at Loyola University Chicago, and is minister of the Arrupe House Jesuit Community.
Lord, when times are easy, it’s easy to have faith. Suddenly that which seemed absurd now makes sense. Everything fits together. We have clarity how you have worked through the tough times of our life.
Yet when thrown into the middle of hardship, we can forget your faithfulness and feel overwhelmed. Lord, we ask for a deeper faith that is steadfast regardless of our circumstances.
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!