“Then it began to blow a gale and the waves were breaking into the boat so that it was almost swamped.” Like the disciples in Sunday’s Gospel, we all experience gales and winds in our lives. Sometimes when this happens, we pray but get no answers. It seems that God is out of reach, his phone is switched off, or that he is asleep. But this is never the case because God is there all the time, watching us from a distance.
Extreme weather conditions are being reported more frequently in recent years We also encounter social and emotional storm. The Catholic Church has been through quite a storm of controversy in recent years, about the abuse of children and vulnerable adults; and the after-effects of this are still painfully present. As individuals, we can find ourselves battling against the elements of life, as we struggle for one reason or another, to keep our balance in life.
Jesus warned that stormy times will come to all of us. We need to ask how equipped are we to deal with them. When the boat rocks, will we find ourselves tossed about helplessly, or is there a way to be purified by the storm and then move through and beyond it? Jesus is our calm when the storm comes. If we listen to him and continue to trust him, we will be able to ride out the storm and get on with life. Jesus shows us how to survive and thrive: by believing in him and having faith in him. With his word as our anchor, the Lord will see to it that we stand firm, regardless of how wildly the storms may blow.
Thomas Merton, an American Trappist monk and theologian, wrote that in daylight we can see the objects that are near us, but it is only in the darkness of night that we can see the distant stars. Trust God in times of darkness and eventually we will see the stars which brighten our lives. God is using the night of faith to make our faith deeper than a matter of how we feel.