FAITH IN GOD IN THE MIDST OF THE STRUGGLES AND DIFFICULTIES OF DAILY LIFE.
12th Sunday of Ordinary Time (B):
The Calming of the Storm.
This Sunday’s Gospel narrates to us the episode of calming of the storm wherein we find Jesus taking his Apostles to the other side of the lake in a boat (Mc 4:35-40). Then, a great storm of arose such the boat was already filling. But Jesus was asleep so they woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care if we perish?’ And so Jesus awoke, rebuked the wind, and the wind ceased, and the storm was calmed. Jesus then said to the Apostles: “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” And they were filled with awe, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him? (vv. 40-41)”
All of us have our own share of difficulties throughout our life. Today’s Mass readings remind us
- To have faith in Jesus, faith in God Omnipotent who loves us and never abandons us. This idea can also be seen in the 1st reading when God directed Himself to Job, reminding him: “Who shut within doors the sea, when it burst forth from the womb; when I made the clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling bands? When I set limits for it and fastened the bar of its door, and said: Thus far shall you come but no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stilled! (Jb 38:8–11)”
- Amidst the inevitable problems and difficulties of our daily ordinary life, God wants us to call on Him, as today’s Psalm reminds us: “They cried to the Lord in their distress; from their straits he rescued them, He hushed the storm to a gentle breeze, and the billows of the sea were stilled (Ps 107: 28-29).”
- He also wants us to consider all situations through faith, from a supernatural viewpoint, in God’s presence, and this will help us realize that “all things work unto the good for those who love God (Rm 8:28)”. “Omnia in bonum (all for the good)!”, as St. Josemaria abbreviated it and used it often as an act of faith in God. With this steadfast faith in God’s Love and Omnipotence, we will always regain our peace and serenity especially when life’s trials become a burden too heavy to carry and seem to get the upper hand in us.
St. Augustine compares our life to that of a ship:
- “As a vessel on the sea be exposed to a thousand dangers — to pirates, to quicksands, to hidden rocks, and to tempests — so man in this life is encompassed with perils, arising from the temptations of hell — from the occasions of sin, from the scandals or bad counsels of men, from human respect, and above all from the passions of corrupt nature. . . . This should not cause him to lose confidence. Rather… when you find yourself assaulted by a violent passion take whatever you can to avoid the occasions [of sin] and place your reliance on God…: when the tempest is violent, the pilot never takes his eyes from the light which guides him to port. In like manner, we should keep our eyes always turned to God, who alone can deliver us, from the many dangers to which we are exposed” (St Augustine, Sermon 51; from the fourth Sunday after Epiphany).
Dear friends: Faith is man’s response to God:
- a response manifested in man’s assent to God’s Love, Omnipotence and Goodness, at all times, most especially when he finds himself in midst of a storm;
- a response which is translated into prayer of petition and of abandonment to God’s will;
- a response demonstrated in always considering God’s plans behind the seemingly disastrous situations, convinced that He knows and wants what is best for us. “If you live in the presence of God, high above the deafening storm, the sun will always be shining on you; and deep below the roaring and destructive waves, peace and calm will reign in your soul (St. Josemaria, “Forge”, n. 334.”
Let us ask Our Lord, through Our Lady, to give us a firm and unshakeable faith most especially amidst the difficulties of our daily life.
-Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, priest of Opus Dei. CATHOLICS STRIVING FOR HOLINESS. We are also in Facebook: www.facebook.com/CatholicsstrivingforHoliness Hope you like our page and invite your friends and share our posts as well to help more people in their Catholic life.
Thanks and God bless!
PHOTO SOURCE: Rembrandt, “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee” in http://antonk.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/The-Storm-on-the-Sea-of-Galilee-1633-oil-painting-on-canvas-still-missing-after-robbery-from-Isabella-Stewart-Gardner-Museum-1990-sailing-boat-men-miracle-of-Jesus-calming-the-waves.jpg