“Resigning ourselves to the complete Power and Providence of the Lord!”
(Based on Heb 11:1-2, 8-19 and Mk 4:35-41 – Saturday of the 3rd Week in Ordinary Time, Year 1)
A visitor was once walking along a high part of the shore of the Dead Sea.
As he casually was strolling across and relaxingly enjoying, he lost his balance and fell into the water.
Swimming was an activity he had never learnt!
Desperation was a weakness that hastened to him quickly!
He could not swim and, in extreme anxiety, lest he should sink and be drowned, he began to fling his arms about frantically!
Was his life going to be terminated?
Was his enjoyable walk awaiting an anti-climax end?
At last, exhausted by wildly moving his arms for help, he felt he could do no more.
Then he found something strange happening…
The waters bore him up!
The water of the Dead Sea is so heavy with salt and other minerals that when he lay still in it he found he floated on the surface!
When he frantically moved his arms, in despair, there was immense fear of drowning..
But when he became still, he experienced the calm of support and strength!
Drowning was an impossibility so long as he resigned himself to the power of the deep!
The Gospel of the Day is this powerful lesson to trust deeper in the power of the Lord, when we encounter the storms of life!
The Gospel narrates the incident of Jesus and His disciples travelling in the boat, encountering the fierce storms and how the Lord brings in calm and serenity in that situation of turmoil and turbulence.
All the three synoptic Gospels – Mathew, Mark and Luke – not only report this incident of Jesus calming the boat, but also mention a simple yet significant detail – “Jesus slept!”
St Matthew says, “Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.” (Mt 8:24)
St Luke says “As they sailed, he fell asleep.” (Lk 8:23)
St Mark says, “A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion.” (Mk 4:38)
It’s amazing to imagine this situation:
The storms are raging high…
The waters are probably hitting hard on the boat…
The disciples are anxiously rowing, struggling to balance…
There is terror around… there is a sense of fear… there is growing apprehension.
Yet, in the midst of all this, the Gospels say that “the Lord is sleeping!”
That really must be a good and sound sleep, isn’t it?
The Psalmist says, “I will lie down in peace and sleep comes at once for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety” (Ps 4:8)
To be able to sleep in the midst of severe storms, is a sign of tremendous peace of mind!
Isaiah 43:2 promises: “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown”
The One who has immense faith and trust in God has absolutely nothing to worry…even in the midst of any storm or squall
The One who has great confidence and belief in Divine Providence has just nothing to fear…even in the midst of any horror or terror.
Jesus was in communion with His Father.
This bonding made Him to be assured of every protection and care!
This union made Him to be rest assured of every safety and security!
Here is an important spiritual principle that Jesus teaches us:
The greater one is in communion with God, the greater and easier is one’s trust in Divine Providence.
The higher one is in union with God, the lesser will be the anxiety and worry factor in life.
Even when Jesus faced the greatest storm of His life – His passion and death – He was able to go through the crisis in peace and serenity.
In fact, before being arrested and taken for being crucified, Jesus assures peace and joy even for his disciples:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (Jn 14: 27)
The Lord today invites us to have this same kind of a faith and trust in Him and His Divine Providence.
Life will, undoubtedly, bring with it many storms and tempests in life.
We may experience lots of fear…
We may feel the end is near…
But the one who trusts in Him, is assured of safety and security!
The more we are close to the Lord, the deeper would be this faith and confidence!
Drowning in life is an impossibility…
… when we resign ourselves to the complete power and providence of the Lord.
The power of the Lord is with us and beneath us…
… waiting to bear us up!
Do we trust?
- Fr Jijo Jose Manjackal MSFS
Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets…
… but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son.”
Christ, the Son of God made Man, is the Father’s one, Perfect and Unsurpassable Word.
In Him, He has said everything; there will be no other Word than this One.
St. John of the Cross says: “Any person questioning God or desiring some vision or revelation would be guilty not only of foolish behaviour…