GOSPEL OF THE DAY: THE CALMING OF THE STORM (Mk 4: 35-40)
THE CALMING OF THE STORM (Mk 4: 35-41)
They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” They were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?” Mk 4, 35-41:
- “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?”
- Faith is mans’ response manifested in his assent to God’s Revelation, Love, Omnipotence and Goodness, at all times, but most especially when he finds himself in midst of a storm;
- It is a response which is translated into prayer of petition and of abandonment to God’s will;
- It is 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.”
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).
- Who then is this even wind and sea obey him!
- In this miracle, the Fathers have always seen the protection of Christ over His Church. The waves of persecution seem to sink it, but Christ is with her and will never allow it.
- It is clear, then, that the reason for the indestructibility of the Church is her intimate union with and constant presence of her founder aand primary foundation, Our Lord Jesus Christ such that the gates of hell would not prevail against her (Mt 16:18).
- Faith attests to us that this firmness in the constitution of the Church and in the veracity of its doctrine will always last. Saint Leo the Great says:
- “On this firm rock I will build an eternal temple and the tall conglomeration of my Church, called to penetrate heaven, relies on the steadfastness of this faith. The powers of hell cannot impede this profession of faith, the bonds of death will not subject her, because these words are words of life. Those who accept them will reach heaven, those who deny them will drown in hell (Sermon 4, 2-3).”