On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd behind, they took him 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 he 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. He 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?”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
A week ago we experienced a vivid reminder of “strong winds” during the Mass Pope Francis celebrated in Tacloban in the Philippines. (This is the same area hard hit by typhoon Yolanda in Nov. 2013.) Wearing a plastic poncho over his vestments, the pope still wasn’t shielded from the strong winds and heavy rain that came at him sideways throughout the Mass. It was really a bit of a “holy mess.”
The Holy Father remained serene throughout the Mass; his strong faith and focus gave energy to the crowds who sang and prayed with gusto…even as they wiped away the insistent raindrops.
What strong winds and rain are drenching my spirit these days? How does Jesus help me to “be still,” to find both faith and focus as I go about my daily duties?
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
Living God, our refuge and strength, even the wind and sea obey your voice. Put the wind back in its place, and say to the sea: Peace! Be still!
Fill us with great faith, and save us from the surging waters, so that we may always tell the good news of your saving love. Through Jesus Christ, our hope in every storm. Amen. (based on Mark 4)
—From the prayerbook of the Presbyterian Church USAPlease share the Good Word with your friends!