DAILY MASS, GOSPEL AND COMMENTARY: “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” (Mt 8:23–27).
Gospel of Tuesday, 13th week in Ordinary Time
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?
Today’s Gospel narrates to us the episode of calming of the storm wherein we find Jesus taking his Apostles to the other side of the lake in a boat . Then, a great storm of arose such the boat was already filling. But Jesus was asleep so they woke him and said to him, ‘Lord, save us! We are perishing!?’ And so Jesus awoke, rebuked the wind, and the wind ceased, and the storm was calmed. Jesus then said to the Apostles: “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?”
All of us have our own share of difficulties throughout our life. Today’s Gospel reminds us:
- To have faith in Jesus, faith in God Omnipotent who loves us and never abandons us. This idea can also be seen when God directed Himself to Job, reminding him: “Who shut within doors the sea, when it burst forth from the womb; when I made the clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling bands? When I set limits for it and fastened the bar of its door, and said: Thus far shall you come but no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stilled! (Jb 38:8–11)”
- Amidst the inevitable problems and difficulties of our daily ordinary life, God wants us to call on Him, as the Psalm reminds us: “They cried to the Lord in their distress; from their straits he rescued them, He hushed the storm to a gentle breeze, and the billows of the sea were stilled (Ps 107: 28-29).”
- He also wants us to consider all situations through faith, from a supernatural viewpoint, in God’s presence, and this will help us realize that “all things work unto the good for those who love God (Rm 8:28)”. “Omnia in bonum (all for the good)!”, as St. Josemaria abbreviated it and used it often as an act of faith in God. With this steadfast faith in God’s Love and Omnipotence, we will always regain our peace and serenity especially when life’s trials become a burden too heavy to carry and seem to get the upper hand in us.
St. Augustine compares our life to that of a ship:
- “As a vessel on the sea be exposed to a thousand dangers — to pirates, to quicksands, to hidden rocks, and to tempests — so man in this life is encompassed with perils, arising from the temptations of hell — from the occasions of sin, from the scandals or bad counsels of men, from human respect, and above all from the passions of corrupt nature. . . . This should not cause him to lose confidence. Rather… when you find yourself assaulted by a violent passion take whatever you can to avoid the occasions [of sin] and place your reliance on God…: when the tempest is violent, the pilot never takes his eyes from the light which guides him to port. In like manner, we should keep our eyes always turned to God, who alone can deliver us, from the many dangers to which we are exposed” (St Augustine, Sermon 51; from the fourth Sunday after Epiphany).
Dear friends: Faith is man’s response to God:
- a response manifested in man’s assent to God’s Love, Omnipotence and Goodness, at all times, most especially when he finds himself in midst of a storm;
- a response which is translated into prayer of petition and of abandonment to God’s will;
- a response demonstrated in always considering God’s plans behind the seemingly disastrous situations, convinced that He knows and wants what is best for us. “If you live in the presence of God, high above the deafening storm, the sun will always be shining on you; and deep below the roaring and destructive waves, peace and calm will reign in your soul (St. Josemaria, Forge, n. 334.)
Let us ask Our Lord, through Our Lady, to give us a firm and unshakeable faith most especially amidst the difficulties of our daily life. A blessed day ahead! Fr. Rolly Arjonillo.
SEE AS WELL:
POPE FRANCIS’ SPEECH EXTRAORDINARY URBI ET ORBI DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC:
“WHY ARE YOU AFRAID?” in https://catholicsstrivingforholiness.org/why-are-you-afraid-have-you-no-faith-pope-francis-homily-during-the-extraordinary-urbi-et-orbi-blessing/
SEE AS WELL:
VIDEO COMMENTARY ON TODAY’S GOSPEL
Today’s gospel is a familiar refrain for many of us. Jesus was with His disciples when they went out fishing in the Sea of Galilee. A storm suddenly appears. It was an unusual storm because not only did it rock the boat they were riding on violently, it scared the supposedly experienced fishermen. It must be a wild, wild ride for them. But Jesus, remained impervious as he slept peacefully.
Notice that the disciples tried waking Jesus up in their fright and expected Him to be able to do something. They somehow knew that their last resort in such a rough and tough ride was Jesus. And Jesus responds by saying, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?” Jesus stands up, and “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 8:26-27)
Having seen Jesus perform miracles three times previously with a leper, a centurion’s servant, and Peter’s mother-in-law, along with numerous people who came to him to be cured right after, why would they still be surprised? They wanted to be saved by Him and, yet, it seemed that they couldn’t believe that He could do it.
Try to recall in your own life what storms you have faced that struck so much fear and chaos in your life? Did you immediately think of turning to Jesus when that storm wreaked havoc in your life? Or did you fold up and spend sleepless nights in fright and anxiety? And as the days wore on, did you feel unease when Jesus continued to sleep on your problem? Or did you have a calm and trusting disposition, knowing that Jesus will wake up on time to still your storm?
In our COMMENTS FROM THE CHAIR, 11th installment last April 17, 2020, we shared an effective method inorder for us to sleep like Jesus even in the midst of our worries and anxieties.
Step back. Calm down. Reflect – ask yourself: could there be worse problems than this? Pray. Breathe Jesus in. Breathe your problem out. Do this for several minutes. And you will feel some calm and peace, just like Jesus. He gives this to us if we trust that He can and He will. Your life will not just change. You, too, will change. For if big and small miracles happen in your life, would you still be amazed? Believe Jesus will stop the storm. Hopefully, your steadfast faith will keep you calm and collected when the next storm comes. Be blessed.
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