Readings for June 20, 2021
Job 38:1, 8-11
Psalm 107:23-26, 28-31
2 Corinthians 5:14-17
I think we’ve all had times in our lives when we wondered if God was paying attention, seemingly absent in our time of need or suffering. We have, perhaps, even lamented to God to show His face and help us. Right now, please. But the Apostles did not suffer from absence of God. Jesus was in the boat with them. But for a moment he seemed to not be paying attention. And suddenly, there was trouble, and he was sleeping, apparently quite soundly. In some ways, the Apostles waking Jesus was a sign of faith. They knew he could help them.
Or did they?
While their fear in the storm was understandable, their question to Jesus did not exactly show their confidence in the Lord. “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” The question goes deeper than a plea for help. It touches on their lack of faith in their moment of fear. If Mark’s Gospel is written chronologically, then they had just heard that all they needed was a faith the size of the tiny mustard seed. Their question, however, showed that in fear, they did not have even that small seed of faith.
Suffering is hard. Being fearful adds to suffering. It beguiles our peace and can lead us to despair. It is said that the Bible says some form of “do not fear” 365 times–once for every day of the year. It does so to restore our confidence in the Lord. Only a mustard seed of faith can move mountains. But we need to remember that Jesus cares, reminding ourselves of this truth especially when we are in fear or pain, because that is where the mustard seed starts to grow.
Note that Jesus calmed the storm first and then admonished the Apostles’ faith. Yes, Jesus absolutely cared. He took away the danger in front of them, and then he taught them about faith, reminding them of the simple fact that would always calm the storms within them. We are loved. Always and no matter what. And need only to trust. In right order, when we can set aside our fear and ask Jesus for help, our faith will grow.
My Lord Jesus, faith is a gift, a grace bestowed upon me by the Father. Increase my faith so that I can have confidence when times are hard and I call out to you. Knowing of your divine mercy, may I ever pray, “Jesus, I trust in you.” Amen