12th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Let us watch this video clip: Yoda on fear “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
Jesus, in today’s gospel passage, addresses the problem of fear. While Jesus and his disciples are in the boat, a violent squall comes up and waves break over the boat. In the midst of this storm and chaos, we are told, “Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion.”
The disciples wake him and tell him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” Jesus wakes up, rebukes the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” Then Jesus asks his disciples, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” Jesus is somehow telling them (and us) that fear comes from a lack of faith.
Jesus’ convicting question to his disciples is also addressed to us: “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” So often we are terrified, afraid, or anxious about so many things, without much confidence in God’s goodness and power. It is clear that what Jesus wanted from his apostles, and what he wants from us, is the conviction that God takes care of his beloved children. What he wants from us is faith that is trusting. Jesus is asking each one of us, right at this moment: “Where is your trust that I care about you and I will take care of you?”
May isang taong inabutan ng unos sa karagatan – tulad ng mga alagad sa ebanghelyo ngayon. At sa gitna na malakas na hangin at malalaking alon, nakita niyang naglalakad si Hesus sa ibabaw ng mga alon. Naalala niya ‘yung ganitong eksena sa Biblia, kaya tulad ni Pedro sa kuwento, sumigaw siya: “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” And Jesus answered, “Come.”
Agad-agad na nagsuot ng life-jacket ang tao, at buong-tapang na naglakad patungo kay Hesus. Napangiti si Hesus nang makita niya ito, at sabi sa kanya: “Why did you doubt my word, O you of little faith?” Pero tumutol ito, “Lord, I never doubted your word!” Jesus said, “Then, why are you wearing that life-jacket?” The man replied, “Oh, this one… this is… just in case…”
Isipin ninyo ‘yung iba’t ibang ‘life-jacket’ na isinusuot natin, at tingnan natin ang implikasyon nito… ‘Yung life-jacket ng pagkakamal ng sobra-sobrang pera at ari-arian. Ano sinasabi natin sa pagsusuot nito? “I need to wear this just in case God stops providing for my needs.” ‘Yung life-jacket ng mataas na poder at malawak na kapangyarihan. Ano sinasabi natin sa pagsusuot nito? “I need to wear this just in case God forgets to use his power to protect me and to deliver me from evil.” The life jacket of striving to be somebody in the eyes of others by achieving and accomplishing a lot of things – which has become the basis of my self-worth. Ano sinasabi natin sa pagsusuot nito? “I need to wear this just in case God rejects me as his beloved – which is the foundation of my identity.” Indeed, we still hang on to a lot of things – just in case! It seems that we just could not rely totally on God.
You and I are caught in the storms of life. Naiisip ba natin na baka iwanan o pabayaan tayo ng Panginoon sa gitna ng mga unos ng buhay na pinagdaraanan natin? Our gospel story tells us that the Lord is with us even in the storms – even in the fiercest storms. An English poet said, “If winter comes, can spring be far behind?” We can also say: “If storms of life come, can the Lord be far behind?” “If problems and troubles come, can Jesus be far behind?”
Faith asks us to trust that the Lord loves us enough to use his almighty power in our behalf. With faith in Jesus’ love, we can let go of the all our insecurities, fears, and anxieties. Hindi tayo labis na mag-aalala tungkol sa pera o kalusugan. Hindi tayo mababahala tungkol sa career o negosyo. Hindi tayo labis na mangangamba sa kalagayan at kinabukasan ng pamilya natin. With faith in God’s love, we can let God be God in our life. Magagawa nating manalig at magtiwala sa divine providence kaya hindi tayo maghahanap-buhay nang higit sa kailangan, hindi natin ibinubuhos lahat ng oras at lakas sa pagnenegosyo, hindi tayo mag-iimbak at magkakamal ng mga bagay na hindi naman natin talaga kailangan.
“Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” The message of today’s gospel for us is this: If we are to follow Jesus across the stormy sea of life, we must keep our eyes firmly fixed on him.