stormy sea

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time – 23 June 2024

Jesus is always on the move! He makes another journey to the ‘other side’. The ‘other side’ often represents a place of scarcity, fear, sickness, rebellion, sinfulness and ignorance. Jesus, on the other hand, represents abundance, faith, wholeness, peace, grace and the wisdom of God. The gospel of today begins with Jesus dispersing the crowds who have been nourished by his teaching, preaching and healing. It’s prime time now to be with his disciples. There is a new assurance that is in store for them. Most of his disciples were men of the sea. They knew how turbulent the Lake of Galilee could be. Being about seven hundred feet below sea level, the quiet lake could be whipped up within minutes due to the sudden windstorms which would sweep down the hills of Galilee. Every fisherman knows how fragile they were in such moments.

Jesus is Emmanuel! His name means ‘God-with-us’. When disaster strikes, we all get down on our bended knees. We pull all our lifelines together. The watery grave is no place to sink in! They wake up Jesus, with a prayer rooted in doubt and exasperation, “Master, do you not care? We are going down!” Amid turbulence, Jesus is at peace. He is not storm tossed. The disciples were just returning from listening to Jesus’ teachings on God’s love and providence. But now, the storm has washed away all that. The imminent danger of death splits their minds from God’s love and care.

We often fall into the same trap. At every moment, even a small wave can erupt into a potential storm. Unable to save ourselves with our own resources and strength, we too cry out, “Master, do you not care?” It is easy to believe that God is with us when all is calm and peaceful. But, when we are perishing in the storms of life, we conclude that God doesn’t care! It takes faith to believe that Jesus is ‘on board’ with us all through life. He is closest to us specially in our crisis moments.

Ps 34:17 says, “The Lord hears the cries of his people. He will save them from all their distress.” To journey with Jesus is to journey through storms, not around it! Storms makes good disciples too. We will be able to recognize a new identity of Jesus as the ‘Lord of all chaos’. He rebukes the wind and calms the sea. Get ready! There is a new storm around the bend. Let Jesus be your only life line. 

Fr Glenford Lowe

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