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
The problem with writing a reflection on the gospel passage for today is to decide on which type of storms to focus. Homilists often spiritualize the problem, speaking of the internal turmoil of our emotions and thought patterns. At times, societal storms become the focus to highlight the real challenges that global climate change, oppressive social structures, or random acts of violence place on fully living our Christian vocation.
Speaking of different types of storms might suggest each category has a different origin. Whether an external or internal storm, they are intricately connected. As Jesuit St. Peter Faber once noted, the problems that human society faces have spiritual roots. Technological advances offer assistance, but only God can touch that place of fear, greed, or despair that causes these problems. We must turn to Christ like the apostles, and ask for a peace that transforms our hearts.
When I encounter the storms of a Christian vocation, where do I turn for help? Is Christ inviting me to trust him more deeply? If I am seeking peace in my life, where areas of my heart need to be transformed?
—Dano Kennedy, S.J. is a Jesuit scholastic studying philosophy at St. Louis University. He lives at the Bellarmine House of Studies.
Living God, stand by me. Hold me up. Be my strength when I am tired, my inspiration when I am bored, my life when I am listless. Living God, I cannot always meet the standard expected of me, cannot always be the personality I am known for. Abba when I fail, Abba when I stumble, I will rest in your presence.
—Edwina GatelyPlease share the Good Word with your friends!