“Give thanks to the Lord, His love is everlasting.” Psalm 107:1
Job, the apostles—and we, too—have a few things in common. At least that’s what we learn from today’s readings.
In his distress Job calls on God to rescue him from his many torments. Finally, in a stormy whirlwind God does appear, not with answers but with questions. Of course, Job cannot answer any of the questions, making the point that Job must let God be God.
Then in Mark’s Gospel we hear the distress of the disciples who meet up with a terrible squall crossing the Sea of Galilee. Frightened for their lives, they awaken Jesus who had fallen asleep on a cushion after a day of preaching. They plead, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” Jesus immediately calms the wind and quiets the sea, but not before asking, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?”
At times, we are all reflections of Job and the apostles. We have a clear picture of how we want life to unfold, but question why God’s plans don’t always match up with our own. We may experience any number of personal storms… within our families, at work, or in our communities. We may be tempted to ask, “Where is God in all this?” Today’s readings provide the reassurance we need. God will not let us perish. As people of faith, we are given the grace to overcome life’s inevitable challenges and with that gift, our faith will grow in strength.
With prayer and perseverance—and the support of loved ones—difficulties have a way of resolving themselves. I look back on this past year think about the challenges we all faced, including the tragedies. With God’s grace and one another, we have managed to survive. When Jesus calmed the storm, he was not asking for awe at a miracle but rather trust in the ultimate victory of life over death.
Friend, today’s readings assure us that confidence overcomes fear; and faith is always victorious over doubt. Whenever I have put my trust in God, I have been rewarded. I believe you will be rewarded, too.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.
Prayer for 3rd Sunday
Dear Lord, we know You neither slumber nor sleep,
and yet at times we fear You do not know
or worse, do not care of the terrible
perils we face. In our distress we cry out to You
to wake and save us from dangers that
threaten to destroy us.
Forgive us, at times like these, for our lack of faith,
for surely You Who died for us will not abandon
us In our hour of greatest need.
You Who command the wind and the waves
and who walk upon the water, be our sure comfort
and consolation when fear drowns our faith.
May we trust neither in our strength
nor in our boat tossed by the waves
but rather, confident in Your merciful love,
let us always strive to remain awake
to Your powerful presence among us.
Prayer by Maryknoll Missioner, Father Joseph Veneroso