Job 8:1, 8-11; 2Cor 5:14-17; Mk 4:35-41
A woman was seated next to a priest on an airplane during storm. The plane was bouncing up and down. The terrified woman said to the priest beside her: “Can’t you do something about this awful storm?” The priest looked at her and said: “I’m in sales, not in management,” pointing upward with his finger.
The disciples in today’s gospel were in the Sea of Galilee when a violent stormed was occurred but Jesus was with them and sound slept. They were so terrified like the woman in our story and afraid. So, they awakened Him to ask for help. Since He was the ‘manager’, he could control and quit handily the raging storm.
Fear is applicable not only in times of great crisis but also in times of ordinary crisis, for fear indeed plays a great part of our lives. Like for example if we don’t have money to buy our own daily food and other basic needs and if we are lost in the dark. We are afraid of so many things and most of which will never happen such as accidents, sickness, theft, rumors, unemployment, old age, failures, being late, missing a favorite TV program, losing a pet, wearing the wrong clothes and others. The list is endless. But why are we afraid of? What is it that we are afraid of…? If we are afraid of something, our focus will on that something and we tend to forget the most important thing in our lives and that is: doing our own role and our part as followers of Christ and not to be afraid because, just as he assured his disciples those words of assurance are still addressed to all of us.
As we hear of Peter’s boat being tossed about dangerously by these stormy waves, we can readily think of the Church in the stresses and tensions of its existence in the world. Perhaps we are tempted to think that the Lord has no interest in us, he neglected us and he is asleep. We sometimes resulted into fatalism by saying: ”Kapalaran ko na seguro ito (This is may be my fate.” But such an attitude would call upon ourselves the words of Jesus: “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith? Do you know that I am also with you with the same boat?”
Are we afraid because we don’t have enough faith in Him?
Faith according to Catechism for Filipino Catholics (#119, p. 37) says: “Faith in its broadest sense is a central reality in Filipino life. It is an everyday ‘natural factor’ in all our human relationships and daily actions. For example, in accepting the word of others, we already show our faith (paniniwala) in them. We readily obey the directions of those over us, at home, at work, in our communities (pagsunod). We even entrust ourselves and our welfare to others: doctors, teachers, judges, civil leaders, not to mention cooks, jeepney drivers and etc. Without such basic human faith which includes believing acceptance, obedient action and personal entrusting, human life would be impossible. Faith as a human reality, therefore, is central in our daily lives.”
Christian faith, then, touches every part of us: our minds (believing), our wills (doing) and our hearts (trusting). These are the three dimensions of faith interplaying in our lives as followers of Christ (CFC # 127-133).
The first dimension of faith is believing. Christian faith is like a deep knowledge we have of our parents or of anyone we love dearly. This faith is a personal knowledge of Jesus Christ as “my Lord and my God” (Jn 20:28).
The second dimension of faith is doing. Besides believing faith is also doing. As St. James writes: “My brothers and Sisters, what good is it to profess faith without practicing it?” (Jas 2:14). Christ Himself taught: “None of those who cry out, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of God, but only the one who does the will of my Father on heaven” (Matt 7:21). PCP-II brings out this ‘doing dimension of faith’ as witnessing through loving service of our needy neighbors like deeds of justice and love and for protecting and caring for our endangered earth’s environment (PCP-II # 78-80).
The third dimension of faith is trusting. Beyond believing and doing, faith is also entrusting oneself into God’s hands. Abraham, our father in faith, at God’s command left everything to set out for a foreign land.
These three dimensions as what I have said should not be separated from each other because it’s part of our lives as Christians. Do we have strong faith in him? How strong is it? Is it 100% or only 50-50?
I remember that story of a Jew during World War II who hid himself in the ceiling of an old house in order not to be found by German soldiers. He was saved because of his strong faith in God. He said: “In believe in the sun even when I do not see it shining. I believe in love even when I do not feel it. I believe in God even when He is silent.”
I believe myself that God raises those who are humiliated by others. Let us pause for a moment.