When evening had come, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Let us go across to the other side.’ And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great gale arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?’ And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?’
Jesus said: Peace! Be still!
As we tune into the daily news bulletins, or as we read our daily newspapers, we are given the impression that there is no peace left in this world. We are beset with tales of aggression, exploitation, injustice and persecution. The personal ambition, anger, greed and pride of those whose decisions affect the lives of others seem to be driving so many into conflict and confusion. The life-threatening storm which Jesus calms in today’s reading seems to be raging all around us. In our desperation we join the battle in the hope that we might be able to bring about the peace we long for in our own small corners of the world. But, of course, we cannot, just as the disciples could not calm the storm without the help of Jesus.
So often, as we find ourselves enraged and frustrated we convince ourselves that we are alone, that Jesus must be sleeping or looking the other way. Perhaps we convince ourselves that the trials and tribulations that we face are brought about as God’s will, as a test of our faith. However we might choose to deal with the storms of daily life, we too often forget that help is always on hand, that Jesus has trod the path before us and is ready to hold and guide us … if we will allow him to.
Our God is not an angry and vengeful God, He does not exact punishments and trials upon us for his amusement and sport. The agonies of this life are self-inflicted, and God is there to hold our hands and offer his comfort and consolation. Sometimes we may feel as though we deserve the calamities that confront us … even when the fault is ours and ours alone, God is still there to hold our hands and offer his comfort and consolation. Jesus is there to say: Peace! Be still!
Let us pray that we might trust in the peace of Christ. Let us pray that we might share that peace with all whom we encounter in our daily lives. Let us pray that we might be still in Christ as we seek to lead others away from the maelstrom of modern living.
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