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MIDNIGHT MUSINGS

Faith in the Storms

                In South Florida we are familiar with the power of raging waters and hurricanes.  We call storms by name.  We know what Andrew did in 1992 in South Dade.  Late August 2005 a hurricane by the name of Katrina defied the direst predictions of forecasters and proved to be the single most devastating natural disaster ever to hit North America. A few months later Wilma in October 2005 left a lasting mark on South Florida.

                Storms, wind, and water provide two images in scriptures.  We see the power of God: in creation God tames the waters of chaos.  In the Psalms, God controls the waters of the sea.  In the gospel, Jesus demonstrates his divine power.  But storms and wind also represent the struggles and challenges of life.  The question remains: Is Jesus in the boat with us? And do we have faith in him?  Throughout our reading of Mark this year until end of November, we hear about the issue of faith and/or the lack of it. This story of faith and the lack of faith challenge us to see which side we are on. 

                The early Church faced fierce storms: Jewish persecution, persecution under Nero, civil disturbances after the death of Nero. Mark’s gospel was written for these people dealing with challenges of faith: Jesus, “Do you not care that we are perishing?”

                We have storms of our own world: terrorism, war, and violence overwhelming life.  But we have our own personal storms of life, not in history, books or newspapers, but in our personal experiences, health problems, relationship issues, family struggles, financial challenges, etc. Storms just happen; they are  not under our control but can overwhelm us.  Life makes no sense– senseless war, terrorism, crime, violence.  “Storms of life” make it impossible to figure out. To be human is to be in desperate situation;  life is fragile, breakable, mortal.

                We question God.  Like Job we become angry with God:  “Why me?”  The apostles and all of us can be  angry with Jesus questioning him: “Doesn’t it matter to you that…?” I lost my job, my husband is sick, etc.  But then Jesus responds with his own question:  Why so little faith?  

                Faith is all about relationships.  Jesus had such a strong relationship with his Father that he fell asleep in the storm!  We trust not only the same Father but the risen Christ himself.  We are the people who “no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised” (II Corinthians 5: 15).  This double relationship becomes the sure foundation for our lives and a powerful antidote to fear.  Jesus calms the storms within us not always the storms around us.  Just as we honor our human fathers today, Jesus calls us to trust in the divine Father of us all.

Fr. Paul Image

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Paul Vuturo