Readings for Tuesday June 28, 2011
Memorial of Saint Irenaeus, bishop and martyr
First Reading: Genesis 19:15-29
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 26
Gospel: Matthew 8:23-27
As Jesus got into a boat, his disciples followed him. Suddenly a violent storm came up on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by waves; but he was asleep. They came and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We are perishing!" He said to them, "Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?" Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was great calm. The men were amazed and said, "What sort of man is this, whom even the winds and the sea obey?" (Matthew 8:23-27)
"He got into the boat and his disciples followed Him." We can only imagine how fond of Jesus the disciples were becoming. They were probably enjoying the attention that they were getting from the people, and they were feeling pretty important just being around Him. They were also probably enjoying his teachings and growing in their own faith lives. So up to this point, following Jesus has been a pretty good gig for these guys. When Jesus gets on the boat, they figure "why not, everything up to this point has been good", and so they follow. But then something happens while in the boat, a violent storm suddenly hits and all of the disciples begin freaking out and thinking that they are going to die. Jesus simply points out their lack of faith in this storm, and He immediately takes care of the situation. The disciples were amazed at this, and it was here that they really began questioning who this man was.
Our own faith journeys are much like that of the disciples. We hear about Jesus and things sound really good. We enjoy the stories and the lessons and everything seems to make sense. Then, all of a sudden, we hit a storm in our lives, something bad happens and we too begin to freak out. Sometimes we turn to Jesus and say "don't you even care that I am going through this? Sometimes we do not even turn to Him at all, and we just go back to our old ways. It is clear that our faith is never tested when things are going well, in fact this is a time when we usually take our faith and all the blessings from God for granted. But when a storm comes through our life, this is when we are truly tested. Will we be among those to ask God if He cares or not, or will we be among those to say; "God, I trust in you, let your will be done."
No one ever forces us to get in the boat with Christ, it is a choice that we all make ourselves. But if we get in the boat, let us never be fooled into thinking that there will not be challenges and storms along the way. We must remember to always have faith and to trust in the Lord, for He is always mindful of us.
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, we praise you for all that you bless us with and all that we are. Lord, we offer this day up to you, help us to do your will this day and to be the lights in this world that we are called to be. God, we know that there will be many challenges that we will face in our lives, help us to weather these storms and to have faith in you throughout. We pray for all those who are struggling in their faith lives and for all those who do not know your love. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.