On display in this recounting of the calming of the storm at sea is the humanity of Jesus. He has finally succumbed to the exhaustion from being pulled and touched, challenged and accused, the constant interaction through his service of teaching, healing, forgiving, and exorcising, that he not only fell asleep on the boat but was in such a deep sleep that he was as if dead, even through the height of the storm. Also, we see his divinity expressed when his disciples wake him and he calmed the storm immediately with just his word: “Quiet! Be Still” (Mk 4:39)!
The disciples have grasped his uniqueness and have accepted him as their rabbi, their teacher, but they are still having trouble comprehending that he is also the Son of God. The disciples will continue to experience his miracles, but it will not be until after the resurrection and ascension, that their faith will find the maturity to participate in the fullness of the ministry Jesus he was grooming them for.
Storms arise in our lives, sometimes just as unannounced and as quickly as the squall in today’s Gospel. A health issue, an injury, an economic shift, a conflict in a relationship, the effects of a mistake in judgment or a sinful choice, all can arise at a moment’s notice. We, like the disciples, can sometimes only hold on so as not to be tossed into the sea, or bail out water so we don’t sink, but sooner or later we need to turn to Jesus to seek his aid. As the storms arise, a helpful point to keep in mind that I have learned from one of our past retreat directors, Fr. RB is: “Sometimes the Lord calms the storm, and sometimes the Lord lets the storm rage on and calms his child.”
This is where our faith and trust mature. No matter the severity of the storm we need to trust in Jesus that he is present with us, accompanying us and not leaving us alone, no matter if we brought the storms in our lives upon ourselves, or they arose from another source. May we trust that he will either calm the storm or bring us a sense of peace as we travel through it assured that Jesus will give us that which we need to ride it out to the other side. We are also to follow his model and be the same for others in their storms. May we be that calm assurance and presence for those who need Jesus but do not know him or are focusing on fear instead of him. May we be present and accompany one another through our storms, such that we can experience the divinity and so the peace of Christ through our embrace of one another.
Carry these words with you and call upon them as storms arise: In Jesus’ name, “Quiet! Be still” (Mk 4:39)!

Photo credit: Deacon Michael Miller – We as Church are at our best when we embrace and support one another through the storms and celebrations of life.
Fr RB Williams home page and link to his homily from today:
http://www.rbwords.com/
http://www.rbwords.com/wttw/date/2018-01-27
Link for the Mass readings for Saturday, January 27, 2018:
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/012718.cfm

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