July 2, 2019 – Tuesday 13th Week in OT
Gospel – MT 8:23-27 As Jesus got into a boat, his disciples followed him.
Suddenly a violent storm came up on the sea,
so that the boat was being swamped by waves;
but he was asleep.
They came and woke him, saying,
“Lord, save us! We are perishing!”
He said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?”
Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea,
and there was great calm.
The men were amazed and said, “What sort of man is this,
whom even the winds and the sea obey?”
“Why are you so afraid, you of little faith?” Jesus asked his disciples when they woke him up because they were terrified by the storm sweeping their boat.
The Gospel story today tells us about this fear of the disciples. They were afraid that their boat might be destroyed and they would be drowned and die. However, there was a very interesting part of this Gospel story.
While the storm was sweeping the boat and the disciples were terrified by it, Jesus was fast asleep. Jesus was there in the boat with his disciples but sleeping. It seemed that Jesus was not so concerned with the storm. He was confident that they would arrive at their destination safe and sound.
The Gospel today tells us of these two important lessons.
First, the forgetfulness of the disciples that Jesus was with them brought them tremendous fear and anxiety. They forgot that Jesus was in the boat and that their Lord was with them on that journey. Consequently, they have actually taken for granted the very presence of Jesus in their life. This is an invitation for the disciples to always recognize the presence of Jesus.
And to us as well today, this is an invitation to recognize Jesus in our journey. The Lord is not distant. He is to be found and He is journeying with us. Thus, unawareness of His presence in us will only bring us fear, anxiety and uncertainty. When we become fearful, anxious and uncertain, then, we will be paralyzed mentally and spiritually. It will be very difficult for us to move on and to find opportunities of growth because we will tend to focus on the storm rather on Jesus who is with us.
Second, because of this terrifying situation of the disciples, it became an opportunity for Jesus to reveal Himself as Lord and Savior. At this revelation Jesus assured his disciples that his presence brings comfort and peace, calmness and confidence. At the same time, the Lord’s presence also is confronting. Jesus confronts the doubts and the little faith of his disciples. This is the reason why it was not only the wind and the sea that calmed down but also the terrified and anxious hearts of the disciples.
This tells us now that the presence of Jesus brings assurance and confidence in us. The disciples calmed down and found peace because at last, they have recognized the presence of Jesus who was there in that boat.
This invites us again to recognize the comforting and peaceful presence of Jesus in our life. Let us also allow Jesus to confront us especially our doubts and fears, and even our selfish, unkind and ungenerous actions and words. By being able to recognize Jesus and confront ourselves then we shall certainly find peace and calmness, confidence and assurance in Jesus. Hinaut pa.
Jom Baring, CSsR