June 21, 2015 - 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church
What are we afraid of? What makes us anxious? What upsets us? For each of us, the answer is different. But there are things that happen to us that leave us tossing and turning at night, unable to sleep.
The storms of life affect us in the way, leaving us tossed about, frightened, anxious, out of sorts, worried and afraid. We all know that all-too-familiar feeling we get in our gut when we feel like we are going to be sick.
But the storms of life do not affect Jesus the way they affect us. Jesus is at peace, asleep on a cushion on a boat that’s being tossed about by the waves; a boat that is taking on water and in danger of being lost at sea.
Jesus is unaffected by the storms of life.
This image of a boat being tossed about at sea during a great storm is one that had been used to describe the church for many centuries. It is also an image that could be used to describe the worst times of our lives.
Surely Jesus must be present with his church and with his people. Yet, sometimes it seems that he’s fallen asleep. And we cry out, “Lord, don’t you care that we are perishing?”
Storms buffet the church. Storms buffet our lives. We get tossed about and we react with fear. What do my fears reveal about my faith? Hmm?
Do I believe and have faith that Jesus can calm the storms in my life?
Sometimes instead of turning to Jesus we just keep trying to bail water out of the ship, working frantically but getting nowhere. RIght? Right.
Jesus’ response to the storm is very different from our own. And we can learn from him. Jesus reacts with authority over the storm. Jesus controls the wind and the sea. And so, let’s take it a step further: Jesus has the power to control the storms of our lives.
When Jesus addressed the great storm, there was suddenly a great calm that was so peaceful that it filled everyone with wonder and awe.
If we allow Jesus to address the storms in our lives then there could suddenly come a great peace and we too would be filled with wonder and awe.
Jesus offers us a way forward. We can put our trust in him. But when we do, he will ask us to let go of our fears. He will ask us to place all our trust in him and in him alone.
Saint Paul tells us that, in Christ, we can become new creations. But we have to be in Christ.
If we draw near and live in him, our old anxious selves can pass away. And we can become new creations, calm, at peace, unaffected by the storms of life that come our way.
Even when Jesus seems to be asleep in the boat, if we trust in him, if we trust that he can bring about a great calm, then there will be a quieting of the storms in our lives.