REFLECTION FOR TODAY,
January 30, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him. A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. Mark 4:36–38
Throughout our lives, we can be assured that at some point we will encounter a storm. Not just a physical storm but a spiritual one. It may come in the form of a tragic event, a deep wound inflicted by another, the effects of our own sin or some other painful experience. And for many people, this will happen more than once. Presently the world is faced with the storm of corona virus.
When such a “storm” is encountered in life, it may seem as if Jesus is “asleep” and not readily available to help us through. When this happens, the message from our gospel reference today is very helpful to prayerfully ponder.
As the Gospel passage continues, we read that the disciples, in a panic, woke up Jesus and said, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” Jesus got up, addressed the storm and said, “Quiet! Be still!” and all was calm. He then said to the disciples, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” The disciples were left in amazement and wonder.
The key is faith. When we face a storm in life, we must have faith. But what does that mean? It means that we must know, with a deep certitude, that Jesus is in fact always with us. We must know, with a deep certitude, that if we place all our trust and hope in Him, He will never abandon us. We must know, with a deep certitude, that every storm will ultimately pass and that peace and calm will ensue.
Facing the storms in life with faith is transforming. And often Jesus appears to be asleep for a reason. The reason is that He wants us to trust. Too often we turn our eyes to the storm itself and allow fear and anxiety to dominate our lives. But every storm we encounter is an opportunity to trust Him on a new and deeper level. If life were always easy and consoling then we would have little reason to trust deeply. Therefore, every storm must be seen as an opportunity for tremendous grace as we place all our trust in Jesus, despite how things immediately appear.
Reflect, today, upon how deep and sustaining your own faith in Christ truly is. Do you trust Him no matter what? Are you able to trust Him when all seems lost, when life is difficult and when confusion tempts you? Prepare, now, for the next such storm you may face and resolve to use that opportunity as a moment in which your faith is made manifest and becomes the stabilizing force of your life.
My sleeping Lord, help me to always place all my trust in You, no matter what the circumstances are in my life at every moment. Strengthen my faith, especially, during those times when I face challenges and temptations. May I never doubt that You are there with me, leading me and keeping me close to Your merciful Heart. Jesus, I trust in You.