August 13, 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Storms: a Sunday Scriptures blog

Humanity has just come through a huge storm called COVID. Many nations are still struggling to overcome the disruptions to their economies that resulted from the long shutdowns. In our Gospel today, the apostles are caught in a squall on the “sea” of Galilee. When Jesus appears, walking on the water, Peter tries to do the same, but he sinks and has to be rescued by Jesus. Then, “after they got into the boat, the wind died down.” We all have times in our lives when we are tossed about by waves, and when it is natural to wonder whether God is paying any attention, or why God has left us alone. I remember times like this in my own life. And I remember times when, as a pastoral minister, I was present with people in storms: new widows; people going through divorce; those who had lost jobs, homes or businesses; families dealing with addictions, mental illness, murder, suicide, death of children; people who had just received a terminal diagnosis. There is another Gospel story about the disciples in a boat in a storm — the one where Jesus is with them, but asleep. Both stories have a similar lesson: Trust that Jesus and his power are still there during storms — whether he is “asleep” or “walking on the water.” These Scriptures ask us, just as they asked the people of Jesus’ day, to trust that His power is at work within our very selves, to trust that with His power, we can move through the death and destruction of any storm. I find it has helped me to know so many bothers who have been examples to me of that kind of trust. Our Catholic devotional faith is also helpful. Every time we make the stations of the cross, pray to the Sorrowful Mother or pray the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary, we remember how suffering is part of life for every person, including Jesus and Mary. We have choices about how to handle storms of suffering. We can run away, become angry at God, or dull the pain with some addiction or other. Or, like our faith heroes, we can trust God and move through our storms until the wind dies down. And maybe then we become faith heroes for others!

— Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia

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