Be Still

HeQi_018-be still

Growing up on Lake Erie, I had opportunity to see small vessels caught in storms, buffeted by wind and rain. And as a child, storms frightened me. My mother would light a blessed candle, reassuring me that all would be well.  Today violent storms cause me to pause. I have expensive surge protectors to protect my electronic equipment. Yet, when a storm arises, I am still fearful and I disconnect everything.
In our Gospel today, Jesus is with experienced fishermen who knew the peril of a storm at sea. When a “violent squall” arose, the disciples thought that Jesus didn’t care that they were “perishing.” But Jesus did care; he came precisely to save humanity from perishing. The boat was filling up with water from the waves, while the disciples’ hearts were empty of the depth of faith needed to be calm, to be still, to know that Jesus surely does care for them. The disciples’ faith is weak because the disciples do not yet know who Jesus is and why he came. What they did not yet know was the extent of Jesus’ power and his care for them. From what disaster does Jesus really save the disciples? From a storm? Yes, but much more. Jesus saves them from their lack of faith and trust in him.[Living Liturgy 2017]
After Jesus commanded the sea to be quiet, there was a great calm. Were the disciples calmed? Did they grow in faith?
The “storms” of our own lives become occasions for us to grow in faith and trust that God is ever present to us, calming whatever threatens us, bringing us to a deeper relationship with the God who cares for us. We have an advantage over the disciples in that boat on a stormy sea: we know who Jesus is. But nevertheless we must still ask the critical question: how strong is our faith?