30 Jun 2015 (Based on Mt 8:23-27)

We live in a world of wonders…

For example…

Salt is a wonder.
• It is composed of two dangerous substances – Sodium which is explosive when exposed to moisture and Chlorine which is poisonous.
But salt is so very stable!

Alnico magnets are a wonder.
• It is composed of three nonmagnetic substances—aluminium, nickel and cobalt.
But it is the strongest magnet in the world!

Water is a wonder.
• Its chemical formula is H2O – Oxygen is flammable and hydrogen readily burns.
But unite them into water and we put out fires with it!

But above all these things of nature and the natural phenomena, we have the greatest wonder in the Lord and Creator of every “object and situation” of wonder – God!

 How often do we realise the wonder of His Being?
 How often do we be thankful for the wonders He does in our lives?

The Gospel of the Day is a reminder and an eye-opener for us to realise the “wonderful” Person that we have in the “boat” of our lives – Jesus – and to be grateful for Him for His “wondrous” presence!

We are with the familiar passage of the calming of the storms.

The Gospel of Matthew reports the fact that when Jesus and His disciples got into the boat, there was sudden violent “storm”…

The Greek word that is used for “storm” is “seismos”…
Seismos means a “shaking” or a “commotion” or a “tempest” or an “earthquake”

(It is from this word “seismos” that we get the word “seismic” which refers to earthquakes)

The disciples were right in the midst of something like a “sea-earthquake”
And it came on “suddenly”!

How often is our life too so similar…

We sail across calmly, enjoying the peace and serenity of life…
… when suddenly…… we are hit by a deadly storm…in the form of….
• a major crisis in the family or the community
• an unexpected sickness to us or to our loved one
• some unimaginable disaster arising in our work-place
• an inexpressible pain or an absolutely unforeseen problem

We find ourselves totally despairing in the thick of that “seismos”, that “storm”.
The waves hit the boat of our lives so badly and violently…
… that for a moment, our heart skips a beat and we think, “is it all going to be over?”
… that for a split-second, we let go of every hope and we feel, “is it really the end?”

But the Lord who was always with us, in our boat, relaxed and calm, “gets up, rebukes the winds and the sea, and there is great calm” (Mt 8: 26)

 It is as if the whole world is His classroom, and the Master Teacher gets up and demonstrates His power to His students!
 It is as if the waves and the winds are getting “too naughty” and Jesus, the Lord, gets up and “rebukes and chides” them!

And suddenly the disciples realised something spectacular…
All this while, in the midst of the storm, they were shocked and appalled at the “wonder” of the mighty wind and the raging tempest.

But now… right before them and with them… was a person who was the source, creator and the perfection of all wonders – “Jesus”!

• The “wonder” of the Lord’s presence far outmatched those of the deadly side of nature!
• The “wonder” of the Mighty Creator greatly surpassed that of the crisis they faced!

The Gospel says that the disciples were “‘amazed’ and said “What sort of a man is this, whom even the winds and the seas obey?” (Mt 8:27)

 How often do we realise the wonder of His Being?
 How often do we be thankful for the wonders He does in our lives?

Today we celebrate the Feast of the “First Martyrs of Rome”
They were the Christians martyred in the city of Rome during Nero’s persecution in 64.

Historian Tacitus records this gruesome incident in the following words:
“Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired.
Nero offered his gardens for the spectacle, and was exhibiting a show in the circus, while he mingled with the people in the dress of a charioteer or stood aloft on a car.
Hence, even for criminals who deserved extreme and exemplary punishment, there arose a feeling of compassion; for it was not, as it seemed, for the public good, but to glut one man’s cruelty, that they were being destroyed!”

These Martyrs could boldly give up their lives in faith and love, because they had mightily experienced the “wonder” of the Lord in their lives…
No storm could stall them!
No wind could blow them away!

May we also learn to experience deeper and mingle with the “wonder” of the Lord – especially in the Most Holy Eucharist, where He is truly and really present – so that we can sail through the storms of our life, in faith and hope!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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