Vocation Meditation -
June 21, 2009
When evening had come, Jesus said to his disciples, "Let us go across to the other side." And leaving the crowd behind, they took Jesus with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But Jesus was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still!" Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm.
Jesus said to them, "Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?" And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"
The Lake of Galilee was notorious for its storms. Jesus' ministry revolved around the villages surrounding this lake. His disciples, most of them, were seasoned fishermen, experts in the language of storms. Jesus was their guest and hence, was seated near the stern with a cushion to sleep on after a tiring day.
The storm rocked their boat, their calm, their faith. As if Jesus didn't care! A word of rebuke countered their claim. Then, Jesus restored their trust, quieted their fear but challenged their faith by the assurance that He is near! There is nothing to fear!
Beyond its literal meaning, this episode is rich with its symbolic sense.
When the disciples realized the presence of Jesus with them, the storm became a calm. Once they knew He was there with them, fearless peace entered their hearts. To voyage with Jesus was a voyage in peace even in a storm. This is universally true. In the presence of Jesus, peace may be ours in the wildest storms of life.
Jesus gives peace in the storm of sorrow. When sorrow comes, Jesus tells of the glory of the life to come. He transforms the darkness of death into rays of hope for eternal life.
Jesus gives peace when life's problems drown us in a tempest of doubt, tension and uncertainty. In the crossroads of life we know where to turn. To pray to God, to seek answers and surrender to His will liberates us and His peace settles in our soul.
Jesus gives peace amidst the storms of anxiety. The greatest of all storms in life is worry of the unknown, and worry about those we love. Jesus speaks to us of the Father's love that never fails. His hand is always on the helm of our boat. Amidst any storm, He offers us His Word and His Peace that He alone can give!
"Peace! Be still!"
When a storm rocks my boat, do I fix my gaze on Jesus?
Your hand is always on the helm of my boat. My vocation urges me to launch out to farther shores, to the deeper waters of my ministry. Let me do it with greater trust, firmer faith, and with joyful adventure done with others. When storms break out before me, even by Your silence in my boat, let me recognize You are near. Give me Your Peace. Amen.
For the full Gospel reading for this Sunday, visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops site.