12th Sunday -Mark 4: 35-41
In the Gospel reading, we heard that the disciples cried out for help when
they experienced a violent storm and waves were breaking over the boat.
“Lord, don’t you care about us?” They were even more upset that Jesus
was not concerned – in fact, Jesus was sound sleep!
In our lives, we all make journeys across the sea of our lives to the shore
of eternity. It is very natural that we all experience different types of
violent storms and waves in our lives, when we sit by, helplessly watching
the sufferings of loved ones, or in the face of our own personal
tragedies. In such moments, automatically we turn to Jesus, and sometimes
we don’t find Jesus, or Jesus seems far away.
Let me share with you a story: The Mississippi River was flooding its
banks, and the water was suddenly around Dorothy’s house. The water had
reached the level of the front porch where Dorothy was standing. A man
came by rowboat and called to Dorothy, “Step in, and I will take you to
high ground.” Dorothy replied, “No, Jesus, who calmed the storm in the
sea, will save me from the flood water!” The river continued to rise to the
second-story windows and Dorothy saw a powerboat come by. The man in the
powerboat called to Dorothy, “Step in, and I will take you to high ground.”
Dorothy replied, “No, my Jesus will save me!” The river had now risen to
the roof of the house. Dorothy saw a helicopter flyover, and the people
from inside of the helicopter shouted, “Grab the rope and climb in, and we
will take to high ground.” Dorothy replied, “No, Jesus will save me!”
Finally, the floodwaters covered the house, and Dorothy was drowned.
The next thing Dorothy knew, she was standing before Jesus. In anger, she
asked Jesus, “I put my trust in you. Why did you forsake me?” Jesus
replied to her, “I sent you a rowboat, a powerboat, and a helicopter!” This story
tells us the message that “we have to act promptly.” Like the disciples,
we may not see Jesus lying asleep. We don’t have that luxury. But we have
to believe that God comes to us through different people, through different
events, and our everyday life situations.
We face storms of sorrow, doubt, anxiety, worry, and temptation. The
storms we encounter in our lives are often what make us or break us. These
storms can either bring us closer to God and others or separate us from God
and others. But one thing is sure: only Jesus can calm these storms.
Still, we are experiencing the “storms of life” the fear of contracting
the COVID-19 virus, the countries like India, the loss of so many lives
(friends and family) the loss of the “normal” ways of doing things-
shopping, schooling, churching, parenting, and our longing to touch and
hug- all the storms and waves that left us out of control. We might ask-
Was Jesus sleeping? Did we cry out with our fears? Did we think of
ourselves as all being in the same boat? We can move from fear to faith,
even if it struggles! We have been fearful and uncomfortable. We are the
ones who were asleep!
Jesus gives us peace in the storms of anxiety and worries that we have
about ourselves and about our unknown futures. Our challenge is to respond
to every situation – regardless of how painful or negative – with faith,
hope, and love, which are the powerful tools for our spiritual lives. To
experience calmness in our lives is the first step of our spiritual
journey. Let us learn to put more faith and trust in the Lord, who has
the power to calm any storms and can guide us to the shores of safety.
May we have the humility and courage to call for help before these storms
blow our lives apart!
As we celebrate Father’s Day, let us remember all fathers with gratitude
for their sacrifices and love, as well as all mothers. Let us pray for all
fathers, living or dead, to be more faithful in their duties towards their
families. Let us pray to God to give them the moral strength they need to
become good models so that children can always look up to their dads as
their role models!