There is a great irony in today’s Gospel reading. Jesus is sleeping in the boat while the potentially destructive waves and wind have the disciples in a panic. When they wake Jesus up in fear of perishing, Jesus responds by asking, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?” Clearly Jesus has a different perspective than his disciples. Jesus sees with through the lens of complete faith in the power of His Father that works through Him. The disciples however, in their moment of fear, are asleep in their faith. They need to be awakened to the reality of having Jesus’ presence with them.
How many people lose their faith in God when faced with the hardships of life – the tragic loss of a loved one, a diagnosis of a life-threatening disease, or the overwhelming depression and anxiety caused by mental illness? How many others blame God and turn away from their faith when faced with these and other unexplainable hardships?
Overcoming our fears and regaining our faith requires us to change our perspective. We need to see the world through the same lens as Jesus. We must see our life from an eternal perspective. Through faith in Jesus, our life in this world is temporary. No amount of hardship, tragedy, or external circumstances can keep us from the eternal joy of the kingdom of God that Jesus has promised to those who believe in Him.
Faith that can see beyond the physical realities of this life is not obtainable by our own power. Faith is a gift from God through our belief in the salvation Jesus has acquired for us by his death and resurrection. Our faith must continue to be nourished and guided by the Holy Spirit and the spiritual gifts we develop through prayer and good works. Jesus’ presence and power in our life, like being in the boat with the disciples, must be the calming presence in our life.
Like the disciples, when faced with adversity we too may react with a lack of faith. This always results in fear, worry, and anxiety. However, the disciples in today’s reading give us the remedy to overcome our fear and anxiety. They go to Jesus for help.
Prayer is our way of turning to Jesus. Our prayer awakens our faith, as we seek to be in the presence of Jesus. Ask Jesus to increase our faith. Allow the Holy Spirit to help us see beyond the current crisis at hand and lead us to our eternal destiny. Daily prayer helps us develop the courage and other gifts that the Holy Spirit gives us. Then we can see beyond our current circumstances and act with kindness to our neighbor as a response to our love for the Lord and in gratitude for the eternal joy He has promised us.
Today’s Question for Prayer and Reflection
Do you allow the love of Jesus Christ to rule in your heart and mind, and to move your will to choose what is good in accordance with his will?