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The calming of the storm at sea

Gospel Reading: 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 TERRIFIED, O YOU OF LITTLE FAITH?

Looking around in the world, watching the news and reading reports about wars, killings, earthquakes, and typhoons that kill many people, we often wonder, “Is the Lord asleep?”

The disciples are understandably fearful of the storm on the lake. For them, as for many ancient peoples, the waters (lakes and seas) are the abode of demons. A violent storm, therefore, is attributed not so much to strong winds as to angry demons.

Having Jesus in their midst, the disciples ought not to be afraid of demons. We understand Jesus’ rebuke, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?”

What about us? We know that Christ is with us; we know that he will never leave us alone. And yet, like the disciples in the boat, we doubt his power and cry out, “Are you asleep? Don’t you care, Lord?”

Christ is not like a fairy godmother who, with a wave of her magic wand, makes all threats and evils disappear. We do not know the plans of divine providence. God knows what we can bear and what would be too much for us. The apostle Paul was three times caught in a violent storm and experienced shipwreck. But he survived and so became aware that he was in the hands of a powerful God who still had plans for him.

Pray in times of danger, yes, but do not forget to add, “Thy will be done.”

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SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord 2016,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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