Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
In Today’s Gospel we have an event in the life of Jesus that all of us can relate to.
It is the story of Jesus in the stern of a fishing boat, “asleep on a cushion.”
While Jesus is asleep, all chaos is happening around him. There is a violent squall
that comes up and big waves start to beat onto the fishing boat and the boat
begins to sink. The disciples in the boat wake Jesus up and question his concern
for their well-being – “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
As Jesus awakes from a heavy sleep and rebukes the wind and quiets the Sea of
Galilee, He turns his attention to the disciples in the boat with him and rebukes
them. He asks why they are afraid and lack faith? I don’t know about you, but if I
were in the boat with Jesus I would be hurt by this rebuke from Jesus. The boat is
going down and how natural it is for those in the boat to be afraid of dying.
Yet, the Gospel gives us the answer to Jesus’ rebuke. And the answer is found in
what appears to be a simple add-on of words where we hear that Jesus is “asleep
on a cushion.” Only the Captain of the boat would be given this privilege of using a
“cushion”. So the answer is that Jesus is the Captain and He is in charge of the
boat and those in it.
All of us, at one time or another, in our lives we experience events of chaos – we
too feel as if we are in the boat were there are violent squalls, being beaten by the
waves of life and feeling as if we are sinking. But as Christians we must remember
that Jesus Christ is with us in our boat of life and that He is our captain and will not
allow us to perish, even when we think Jesus is asleep. This gives us the courage
to meet the fears of life and to remain faithful in the Lord.
I encourage those of you who are currently experiencing great chaos in your life to
reread the Gospel today and place yourself in the boat with Jesus. Let Him remind
you that he is in control of your life and will never let you perish. You are precious
to Him and he will bring you safely to calmer shores.