Friday 18 December 2015

Saturday of 3rd Week, even numbered year Samedi de la 3e semaine année paire

“Who can this be? Even the wind and the sea obey him.”

2 S.12,1-7a.10-17 Ps.50 Mk.4, 35-41

Saturday of 3rd week, even numbered year

“With the coming of evening that same day, he said to them, ’Let us cross over to the other side.’ And leaving the crowd behind they took him, just as he was, in the boat ; and there were other boats with him. Then it began to blow a great gale.”

Jesus is bringing the crowd towards the kingdom of God’s Infinite Love. Tired, he asks his disciples to get into the boat and to cross to the other side. The disciples obey Jesus who lies down at the bottom of the boat. He has absolute confidence in his disciples. They are experienced fishermen and know the sea. He is with them and they aren’t afraid. So they take Jesus ’as he was’ and now he is asleep in the boat. You can tell who the fishermen are when there’s a storm and it is through trails that the faith of the baptised is fortified, the ones who live from Jesus’ Paschal Mystery.

Unexpectated storms unveil in a brutal manner our limits and fragilities, coming to destroy our illusions and the image we have of our fidelity in a very rough manner. Jesus forbids us to give way to fear, for charity hurries us along and the only danger would be for us not to be the salt of the earth, light of the world. Contemplating this gospel scene, we are in admiration before a Jesus who is exhausted.In all times we can let ourselves be transformed by Him.

“The waves were breaking into the boat so that it was almost swamped. But he was in the stern, his head on the cushion, asleep.They woke him and said to him, ’Master, do you not care? We are lost! ’ And he woke up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea , ’Quiet, now! Be calm!’ And the wind dropped, and there followed a great calm.”

This violent storm that breaks out takes the disciples by surprise, the waves throw themselves onto the water-filled boat, adverse forces are at work and the disciples cry out : Jesus stops the storm and wind and calms the sea; he is completely astonished by their lack of faith.

How important it is for us to realise just how much Jesus counts on us, on our faith.

’No, he doesn’t sleep nor slumber, the Guardian of Israel’

We are at peace because the Son of God has promised that He will be with us always, every day, until the end of time, and that the forces of evil will never turn over our boat. In faith and hope, and because the Holy Spirit dwells within us, he renews our youthfulness every day, leading us with strength and gentleness, right as far as the whole truth, according to Jesus’ Promise.

Storms arise in the Church, silent storms, the effects of conflicting ideas which agitate the world, collective uneasiness, when the ground can be felt to tremble, and groups feel that their security is threatened, their habits contested, their certitudes put into question. Jesus is there, and He watches over us all.

"Jesus said to them, ’Why are you so frightened? Have you still no faith?’ They were overcome with awe and said to one another, ’Who can this be? Even the wind and the sea obey him.’

How surprised we can be by this, whereas a new world is born in front of our very eyes every day. Tensions between the past and the future are there at work in the Church, and we make an effort to listen to the Holy Spirit in order to remain faithful to Jesus. When Christ is there, his Truth bursts forth, it illuminates all things. Jesus doesn’t want fear in his boat, he asks that we manœuvre things together in the right direction, to face the waves in front of us, one after another. Perfect love banishes fear, the world that the Holy Spirit is renewing at this time requires that apostles and all witnesses of the Gospel be strong in faith, a mature, adult attitude in hope, and that they be reconciled with the reality of insecurity.

This is when a real prayer arises from our hearts :

’Out of the depths of my misery, Lord, I cry to you!’

And in our distress the Lord’s voice comes to us

’Why are you afraid, o men of little faith?’ Jesus’s peace is a demanding one, for it is a peace to be made and remade, one to be built within ourselves and around us. It is a commitment to the history of salvation, with God’s strength. This cry coming from the deepest depths of our being converts us. Once awoken, Jesus sees the misery we are in, gets up and puts Peace in our lives. ’Be quiet, be calm!’ We understand the delicacy of Jesus and of the Holy Sprit who act through each one of us. In our lives, when we are close to Jesus, we become closer to one another!

We ask for the grace to know the feelings in the Heart of Jesus so as to enter truthfully into the mystery of God.