Wednesday June 19th: All for God’s glory!
June 19, 2024
Diocesan finance officers meet
June 19, 2024

The storm calmer

“Master, do you not care? We are going down!” The desperately frightened disciples cried out these words to Jesus as a violent storm battered their small boat in the Sea of Galilee in this Sunday’s Gospel according to Mark.

Here’s the dramatic scene: waves crashed over the sides, threatening to capsize and sink them at any moment. Despite the dire circumstances, Jesus slept soundly, unperturbed by the raging storm around them.

The disciples’ anguished cry reverberates through the ages, echoed by humanity today amid the tumultuous storms battering our world. We find ourselves in a turbulent sea of conflicts, environmental crises, and profound social upheaval. Like those disciples of old, we disciples of today look around at the storms of life, questioning if anyone is in control, if anyone cares about our plight.

Raging storms of war have erupted across the globe, engulfing nations in violence, displacing millions, and shattering families.

The invasion of Ukraine by Putin’s Russia more than two years ago has become a 21st century symbol of humanity’s capacity for destructive force. And then there are the thousands of lives lost in the Gaza as Israel continues to defend itself after the October 7 massacre by Hamas.

Our own storms blow from every direction: crime, corruption, limited forex, failing infrastructure, political apathy.

At the same time, the existential threat of climate change looms on the horizon like a colossal storm gathering strength. Escalating temperatures around the world, rising sea levels, fiercer natural disasters, extreme weather events – these are just the initial upheavals of a crisis that could permanently unsettle the future of our planet and human civilisation.

In the eye of this multi-storm stands modern humanity–battered, perplexed, and crying out like those disciples long ago. Secularism, moral decay, breakdown of family structures–the gales of spiritual emptiness and social fragmentation rage all around us.

Economic storms in the form of inflation, job insecurity, and wealth inequalities toss us to and fro.

In such an age of turmoil, it’s easy to wonder if anyone is truly able to speak into the storms and calm the seas of our lives. Does anyone have the power and authority to command peace to the rising tides that threaten to overwhelm us?

It was at this point in desperation when the disciples turned to awaken Jesus. And with just a few words from the well-rested Son of God–”Quiet now! Be calm!”–the storm subsided, the wind dropped “and all was calm again”. Where the disciples saw only a threat of death, Jesus revealed the stark reality of their lack of faith and vision.

Perhaps today’s answer to the many storms of our age can be found in that same source the disciples inevitably turned toward. For when all seems chaos and our frail boats are tossed mercilessly, it is then we are most positioned to be reminded that we were never meant to weather such storms alone.

If only we could gain the eyes of faith to see through the shroud of these storms to the powerful yet peace-giving presence of Christ in the midst of them all.

For those with ears to hear, perhaps the resounding voice of Jesus still rings out, beckoning “Be calm!” over the ominous clouds of conflict, climate crisis, societal frictions, and personal storms that afflict us all.

And in heeding that voice, we rediscover the way to journey upon the tumultuous waters of this life with authority, wisdom and courage that transcends our temporal, human frailties.

For if even weather-related storms obey Him, why don’t we?