Updated: May 21
We identify with the disciples in this Sunday's gospel lesson. Their boat is being swamped in turbulent seas; they feel weak and overwhelmed. Jesus, meanwhile, is asleep on a cushion in the stern. Doesn't he care? Will he not help? When they wake him, Jesus calms the wind and sea. Then he says to his disciples, "Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?"
Jesus continues to act as a powerful calming force in our turbulent world, even when our faith is weak and we give in to our fears. He works through the inspiration and courage demonstrated by faithful followers of his Way. He works through the powerful prayers of his people. He works through the strength of the communities that love in his name. We may not always be able to see this work, but we can have faith that it is ongoing and that we can be part of it through our own faithful practice of living with compassion, humility, and love of neighbor.
Paul encourages the members of the Christian community in Corinth to "open wide [their] hearts." His words written long ago encourage us now. As followers of Jesus, we are called to set aside our fears of what is happening in the world or in our own lives and to open our hearts. The faith we need will be given to us, and we will be empowered to share the love of Christ with a hurting world. Jesus's disciples "were filled with great awe" at his power to calm the storm. We can be, too.