“You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” - Christopher Columbus: (1451 – 1506: was an Italian explorer)
Gospel Text: (MK 4:35-41)
On that day, as evening drew on, Jesus said to his disciples:
“Let us cross to the other side.”
Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus with them in the boat just as he was.
And other boats were with him.
A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat,
so that it was already filling up.
Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion.
They woke him and said to him,
“Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
He woke up,
rebuked the wind,
and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!”
The wind ceased and there was great calm.
Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified?
Do you not yet have faith?”
They were filled with great awe and said to one another,
“Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”
In today’s gospel Jesus chooses not to calm the disturbance in His disciples’ souls in the same manner that He calms the sea and wind. But He does challenge them: “Do you not yet have faith?” His rebuke of the elements and of His disciples seems to have a meritorious effect on them. “They were filled with awe” at His power over the elements. But is this the faith He demanded of them?
It’s only natural to be impressed at the power of nature, and of God’s power over nature. It’s something supernatural, however, to allow God to have power over oneself. This is the sort of faith Jesus is asking for from His disciples. Faith is a gift freely given, but it’s also a gift that must be freely accepted. Jesus will not calm our souls without our consent, or rather, our faith in His power to do so. The disciples marvel at Jesus as one “whom even wind and sea obey”. Even more marvelous, however, is a disciple who obeys Jesus as His Lord.
As we encounter storms in our personal life, we need to remind ourselves that our father, Abba, is at the helm. And he will not let us be crushed, forsaken or destroyed. This realization brings us inner peace — and a good night’s sleep.