Morning Gospel: Today, Jesus calms a storm that has His disciples terrified.
“23 𝐴𝑛𝑑 𝑤ℎ𝑒𝑛 ℎ𝑒 𝑤𝑎𝑠 𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑒𝑑 𝑖𝑛𝑡𝑜 𝑎 𝑠ℎ𝑖𝑝, ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑑𝑖𝑠𝑐𝑖𝑝𝑙𝑒𝑠 𝑓𝑜𝑙𝑙𝑜𝑤𝑒𝑑 ℎ𝑖𝑚. 24 𝐴𝑛𝑑 𝑏𝑒ℎ𝑜𝑙𝑑, 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑎𝑟𝑜𝑠𝑒 𝑎 𝑔𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑡 𝑡𝑒𝑚𝑝𝑒𝑠𝑡 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑒𝑎, 𝑖𝑛𝑠𝑜𝑚𝑢𝑐ℎ 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠ℎ𝑖𝑝 𝑤𝑎𝑠 𝑐𝑜𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑒𝑑 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑤𝑎𝑣𝑒𝑠: 𝑏𝑢𝑡 ℎ𝑒 𝑤𝑎𝑠 𝑎𝑠𝑙𝑒𝑒𝑝. 25 𝐴𝑛𝑑 ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑑𝑖𝑠𝑐𝑖𝑝𝑙𝑒𝑠 𝑐𝑎𝑚𝑒 𝑡𝑜 ℎ𝑖𝑚, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑎𝑤𝑜𝑘𝑒 ℎ𝑖𝑚, 𝑠𝑎𝑦𝑖𝑛𝑔, 𝐿𝑜𝑟𝑑, 𝑠𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑢𝑠: 𝑤𝑒 𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑠ℎ. 26 𝐴𝑛𝑑 ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑎𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑢𝑛𝑡𝑜 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑚, 𝑊ℎ𝑦 𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑦𝑒 𝑓𝑒𝑎𝑟𝑓𝑢𝑙, 𝑂 𝑦𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑙𝑖𝑡𝑡𝑙𝑒 𝑓𝑎𝑖𝑡ℎ? 𝑇ℎ𝑒𝑛 ℎ𝑒 𝑎𝑟𝑜𝑠𝑒, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑟𝑒𝑏𝑢𝑘𝑒𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑤𝑖𝑛𝑑𝑠 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑒𝑎; 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑤𝑎𝑠 𝑎 𝑔𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑡 𝑐𝑎𝑙𝑚. 27 𝐵𝑢𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑚𝑒𝑛 𝑚𝑎𝑟𝑣𝑒𝑙𝑙𝑒𝑑, 𝑠𝑎𝑦𝑖𝑛𝑔, 𝑊ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑚𝑎𝑛𝑛𝑒𝑟 𝑜𝑓 𝑚𝑎𝑛 𝑖𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠, 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑤𝑖𝑛𝑑𝑠 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑒𝑎 𝑜𝑏𝑒𝑦 ℎ𝑖𝑚?” (Matthew 8:23-27, KJV)
This passage reveals to us both the human and divine natures of the Son of Man who is also the Son of God. Jesus was asleep because, as man, He needed rest. But Jesus also commands “𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑤𝑖𝑛𝑑𝑠 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑒𝑎” which, for the Jewish disciples who knew their Bible, only Yahweh can do (cf. (Job 38:8–11; Ps 65:5, 6; 106:29)* By displaying the authority to command the elements of Nature, particularly those chaos-elements which God tamed at the creation in Genesis 1, there is an implicit revelation that Jesus is, in fact, Yahweh Incarnate.
The boat, filled with Christ and the Twelve, also is an icon of the Church. Why do we as Christians go through so many storms in our life? All that happens is permitted by God, even the evils which occur in the world.
Yet, as St. Basil the Great taught in his famous homily “𝑇ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝐺𝑜𝑑 𝑖𝑠 𝑛𝑜𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐴𝑢𝑡ℎ𝑜𝑟 𝑜𝑓 𝐸𝑣𝑖𝑙”+, we hold as a firm principle that evil does not originate with God, and that whenever an evil is allowed, it is ingredient to those greater goods which will be made. In our finitude, we will not usually see how this is to be accomplished, but we trust the Wisdom and Goodness of an All-Knowing and All-Loving Father by faith.
We trust that, even though God allows storms in our life, at the right time He will arise and still those storms. Looking back on the experience, we will be more aware of His presence, and we will find that not only are the storms outside of us calmed, but so will our inner tempests be calmed.
*𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝑃𝑠𝑎𝑙𝑚 𝑟𝑒𝑓𝑒𝑟𝑒𝑛𝑐𝑒𝑠 𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑡𝑜 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑆𝑒𝑝𝑡𝑢𝑎𝑔𝑖𝑛𝑡, 𝑎𝑑𝑑 𝑜𝑛𝑒 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑐𝑜𝑟𝑟𝑒𝑐𝑡 𝑝𝑠𝑎𝑙𝑚 𝑖𝑛 𝑊𝑒𝑠𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑛 𝐶ℎ𝑟𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑎𝑛 𝐵𝑖𝑏𝑙𝑒𝑠.
+𝑇ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑤𝑜𝑛𝑑𝑒𝑟𝑓𝑢𝑙, 𝑤𝑜𝑛𝑑𝑒𝑟𝑓𝑢𝑙 ℎ𝑜𝑚𝑖𝑙𝑦 𝑐𝑎𝑛 𝑏𝑒 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑑 𝑖𝑛 𝑎𝑛 𝑒𝑥𝑐𝑒𝑙𝑙𝑒𝑛𝑡 𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑛𝑠𝑙𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑖𝑛 𝑆𝑡. 𝑉𝑙𝑎𝑑𝑖𝑚𝑖𝑟 𝑆𝑒𝑚𝑖𝑛𝑎𝑟𝑦 𝑃𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑠’ 𝑃𝑜𝑝𝑢𝑙𝑎𝑟 𝑃𝑎𝑡𝑟𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑐𝑠 𝑠𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑒𝑠, 𝑣𝑜𝑙𝑢𝑚𝑒 30, 𝑂𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐻𝑢𝑚𝑎𝑛 𝐶𝑜𝑛𝑑𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑏𝑦 𝑆𝑡. 𝐵𝑎𝑠𝑖𝑙 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐺𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑡.