Monday 22 June 2015

Tuesday of 13th Week, uneven numbered year Mardi de la 13e semaine, année impaire

“Then he got into the boat followed by his disciples. Suddenly a storm broke over the lake, so violent that the boat was being swamped by the waves. But he was asleep.”

Gn. 19, 15-29 Ps. 25 Mt 8, 23-27

TUESDAY of 13th WEEK, uneven numbered year

In one of the most important moments of Jesus’ public life, the storm scene is one of a great vivacity.We see here in a very radical way how opposite Jesus’ attitude is to that of his disciples. We can imagine the prevalent agitation in the boat when ’the sea became violent and the boat was swamped by the waves.’ But all this commotion wasn’t enough to wake up Jesus who kept on sleeping. Desperate, the disciples had to wake him up. ’Lord, save us! We are lost! “

When the wind begins to blow violently in our lives and when the sea is unleashed, Jesus is there, unabashed, wanting us to be the ones who act. And God is also present in the heart of our lives, giving us the strength to come and ask Him to do something for us. It is the Holy Spirit who will have us act like Christ acts. We know that He will act through us, we need to have clothed ourselves with His way of being and doing things. Jesus will always act, whatever may the storms be that pass through our lives, provided that we really do believe in Him. Jesus’ Mystery continues in the Church.The Good Shepherd is there, amongst his disciples.It is the image of the Church as we contemplate this scene of Jesus getting into the boat, followed by his disciples.We know that the sea is the symbol of an agitated world. As for the Church, it tranquilly goes on her way in the world, accomplishing her work, God’s work.

So his companions went to him and woke him, saying, ’ Save us, Lord, we are lost!’ And he said to them, ’Why are you so frightened, you who have so little faith?’ And then he stood up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.”

As we contemplate this dramatic scene, Jesus’ personality is revealed to us. The storm is still mumbling, the disciples still full of fear, and Jesus just calmly stands

up and ’rebuked the winds and the sea ; and there was a great calm.’ Jesus gives the order and there is a great calm. Peace returns. This peace was surely not just one that came over the stormy waters, The Words of Jesus had more the aim of pacifying the disciples’ fearful hearts. ’Why are you so frightened? Men of little faith.’ For they were crying out ’Lord, we are perishing! Save us!’ Jesus’ response is quite surprising: ’Why are you afraid? Men of little faith! “Jesus stands up, rebukes the wind and the sea and there was a great calm. They are all taken by surprise: ’Whatever kind of man is this? that even the winds and the sea obey him?’ The Church’s boat floats along on stormy waters, but Jesus is Present in His Church.”They were astounded and said, ’Whatever kind of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?"

What the disciples have just witnessed is something unbelievable and this has the disciples pass from being disturbed and fearful to entering into a state of utter admiration. Their surprise, astonishment and wonderment as they witness such a radical change of circumstances gives rise within themselves to a fundamental question : ’What kind of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?’ Who is this man who can calm the storms of sky and seas and at the same time those of men’ hearts? Only He who ’ sleeping like any man in a boat can give orders to the wind and sea as can God.’ When we feel the earth slipping away, let us not forget that Jesus is God made man, close to us through faith. Jesus is present in quite a hidden and invisible way. He is there : ’He does not sleep, the guardian of Israel! ’ No, he does not sleep, He is really there with us, very present. Each one of us is a disciple who wants to wake up Jesus. There are pastors of the Church who go into a big panic when they perceive violent wind changes and the waves surging up. But Jesus is here with us! And with Him, are we afraid? ’Men of little faith’, He says to them, to us. Jesus continues His work, wanting his disciples, his ministers to calm down the sea and the wind since He himself has given this power for them to do so.

Let us ask for the grace that the Holy Spirit be given to us so that He may act in our lives as He did in Jesus’ Life.