In our first reading we are told the Lord addressed Job out of the storm. What does it mean to be in a storm? A storm is defined as a violent disturbance in the atmosphere. In the book of Job, you will find life is about suffering and desolation or one could say it is about a violent disturbance in someone’s life - until God steps in - and restores it to order but it isn’t restored - before he experience’s the cross.
I like to think of our lives as time out at sea, weathering the storm. Some days we find the waters calm and peaceful, other days - a storm comes up out of nowhere. It is during these times we don’t know who to turn to and yet the only one we need is right in the back of the boat we just don’t know enough to call out to him.
In today’s Gospel Jesus asks his disciples to cross the sea. I find it interesting that we read that it isn’t Jesus who took his disciples with him but it’s the disciples who took Jesus with them. I wonder how often we remember to take Jesus with us when we find ourselves crossing the sea. I find it interesting that it’s only after a giant Squall or violent gusts of wind and pouring rain comes down on them that they go to Jesus. Why do we wait so long before we go to him Perhaps we need to ask ourselves - what’s going on inside of us that - prevents us from calling out to him
Oftentimes people don’t turn to Jesus because they forget he’s even there - maybe because they didn't take time for prayer
I find it interesting that when the disciples finally do call out to God, they blame him for not responding to their needs as we read “Teacher don’t you care if we perish? Oftentimes we are so concerned with other things - we don’t even realize we are sinking - until it’s too late.
Pope Francis in his homily during the pandemic last year emphasized that: “One of the things most hurtful in families is when someone says: “Don’t you care about me?” It’s a phrase that unleashes wounds in our hearts. It would have shaken Jesus too because he cares more about us than anyone.” Maybe we need to ask ourselves -how often we are the ones who cause turbulence in someone’s heart because we are too focused on our own -storm to notice someone else is drowning
Pope Francis said that the storm exposes our vulnerability and our insecurities in our daily tasks, and projects. He tells us how dull and feeble the things that nourish us and sustain us - have become - because - we neglected them
In a storm - we often camouflage our egos as we are always worrying about our image only to discover one day - our common belonging, a belonging of which we cannot be deprived, our belonging to our brothers and sisters in Christ. Too often we let ourselves get caught up in trivial things and lured away. We are seldom sensitive to the needs of the poor - thinking only about our own wellbeing.
In a stormy sea we come to know how dependent we are on God. “When we turn to him - in fear and trepidation and cry out to him: Lord, don’t you care that we are perishing - he then stands up for us and rebukes the wind and says to the sea: “Quiet, Be still!” and the winds cease and - there is great calm.
Then Jesus asks his disciples - why were you terrified – didn’t you have any faith? And then - they were filled with awe - and say to one another: Who is this - who even the wind and seas obey?
The holy father tells us that no one reaches salvation by themselves and that we all need to experience the priestly prayer of Jesus who said to his heavenly father: “That they may all be one.” He then asks the questions: How many people every day are exercising patience and offering hope and sharing responsibility? How often are we more concerned about ourselves than our brothers and sisters?
This weekend we honor all fathers. Maybe this is the time - to ask ourselves - if we are exercising - patience and offering hope and sharing responsibilities; Fathers teach their children how to be kind and loving and to face the daily challenges in their lives but they also teach them how to allow Jesus to lead them.
Everyone needs to realize that they are not the one’s steering the boat, but that Jesus is our navigator but before Jesus can navigate we need to invite him into our boat just as the disciples invited him on board - and then we need to hand over to him all those things that keep us bound, our fears and doubts and uncertainties and then - let him do the leading -
Today we are going to hear a witness talk – from someone who left our Lord do the leading and by doing so was able to become - one of the lord’s witnesses
So today I invite Bart to come forward and be a witness to - his faith journey