JUNE 23, 2024 GOSPEL REFLECTION

Sometimes it can be tempting to think that the Apostles, or any of the saints had everything figured out from the moment of their Baptism. We have a tendency to hear their fantastic acts of faith as completely other and not something that we are capable of doing. Yet, in today’s Gospel we see a story in which the Apostles’ lacked faith, and Jesus does not seem to understand why. 

The brief but powerful story of Jesus and the Apostles in the boat on a stormy sea of Galilee is one of two opposite reactions to a life threatening situation. Jesus utterly unconcerned about the storm is asleep, while the Apostles are utterly terrified and think this could be the end. They wake Jesus up and ask Him why He doesn’t care about the dire situation. Jesus proceeds to calm the storm with a single command, to the amazement of all on board. He then questions  them why they are so fearful of the situation and lack faith, even while they are marveling that He has the power to control the forces of nature. 

Jesus shows us what a soul who is concerned only with the will of God can endure. He does not fear what could harm the body, because since He abides in the shade of the almighty, nothing can harm him that is not the will of the Father. And whatever the will of the Father is only for His good. Thus, Jesus was at ease enough to take a nap. On the other hand, the Apostles were still learning about faith and dependence on God. They were fearful, because they were grasping to hold onto their lives (understandable) because they did not have proper faith in either who Jesus was, or what His full capabilities were. 

This should give us great hope for sainthood! If those who walked with Jesus were still unsure of exactly who He was at first and had to grow in faith, then we have the same room for growth in our spiritual journey to a loving relationship with God. It takes time to recognize Jesus and have true faith in all that He can do for us. We can have hope in the fact that Jesus is constantly trying to give us reason to trust Him, because He knows that our growth takes time. 

This particular story is one of failure for the Apostles, but not in the manner of failing a test and thus receiving a bad letter grade from their teacher. Rather, it is a failure that shows them their need for growth. In our weaknesses, God’s grace abounds all the more. We can be sure that after their journey through the storm, and seeing how Jesus saved them, they had grown even a little more (if not a lot more) in faith in Jesus. We are offered the same opportunity. When we fail to adequately respond to God, we should not compare ourselves to the ideal of what we think the great saints were like and thus condemn ourselves for being a failure. Rather, we should see the opportunity of our weakness to grow in holiness, which is the same way the saints grew closer to God. Sainthood is attainable and is not about a perfect report card. Rather, it is about learning of our weaknesses, and rejoicing that we experience them so that God can provide His grace for us and ultimately His perfection. 

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CATECHESIS

At the National Eucharistic Congress, Decided Excellence Catholic Media - with the help of Bishop William Waltersheid - will be presenting "Beautiful Revelation: The Eucharistic Timeline". Throughout human history, God has left repeated proof of His presence in the Eucharist and that the Eucharist is the source and summit of our Salvation. God has given us the wisdom. Have you taken the time to understand? Read this spiritual journey through time to examine critical moments that God uses to reveal the truth of the Body of Christ.

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