Reflection by Catherine Schipper
Today’s Gospel: Matthew 8:23-27
What great visuals in today’s gospel. It is like an epic movie upon the high seas. I can almost see the darkening skies with cracks of lightning, while hearing the booming of thunder and the roaring of the wind and waves. Jesus and the guys had had a very long and exhausting day that included healing the sick and casting out demons. Amidst the chaos and the crowds, Jesus gave an order to “go over to the other side” (Mt 8:18). The disciples looked at each other with mounting fear, “Not the other side!” Although embarrassing to admit, I am also afraid of thunderstorms, so I can understand how they felt. On my recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land, I learned that even today, crossing to the other side is not taken lightly as dangerous storms can quickly erupt.
So Jesus got into the boat and his disciples followed Him, perhaps whispering among themselves. Jesus trusted these rugged professional men of the sea so much so that He fell asleep. “And behold, a great storm arose.” Isn’t that a simile for life today? I know in my life there are squalls and storms raging around and within me. I can easily panic rather than feel confident that Jesus is with me. Through time, I have learned to seek comfort in a quote from the book I Believe in Love: A Personal Retreat, based on the Teaching of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, by Father Jean C.J. d’Elbee. I often find peace in these beautiful words: “With you, Jesus, I cannot perish; You are always in the boat with me, what have I to fear? You may sleep; I shall not awaken you … But with all of my will I shall remain at peace in the storm, confident in you.”
Have you ever been in a boat with a sleeping Jesus?
Calm me, Lord, as you calmed the storm. Still me, Lord, keep me from harm. Let all the tumult within me cease; enfold me, Lord, in your peace. (Margaret Rizza)
Copyright 2019 Catherine Schipper
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