The Prelate’s Sermon
Sunday, August 28
Today, the third Sunday of the Feast of the Assumption, the scriptural reading is from the Gospel of St. Mark 4:35-41. Jesus and His disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee in the dark of night when a great windstorm arose, threatening to sink their boat. Even though the Apostles were expert fishermen, in facing such an unusual wind, they awakened Jesus who was asleep on a cushion, and said to Him: “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” Jesus awoke from His sleep. First, He rebuked the wind, and then He said to the sea: “Peace! Be still.” The wind obediently fell, and the sea obediently calmed. Then Jesus said to the Apostles: “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” The Apostles, astonished at the miracle, asked among themselves: “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
I would like to share a few thoughts upon reading this passage where the Divine and human, as well as the sea and the storm, cooperate and create peace.
- The more we read different types of miracles performed by our Lord Jesus Christ, the more awesome it is for us to witness with amazement how the Son of Man has authority over everything in the heavens and on the earth (Mt 28:18) which has been made, created, and regarded as good and obedient (Gen 1:31).
- Miracles are always astonishing, and their impact on all generations is undeniable. By assigning their reading, the Church does not intend to arouse merely a sensational experience but invites us to contemplate on our relationship with God with whom everything is possible (Mt 19:26).
- All those who have experienced the ferocity of storms, whether in small boats or on large ships, in small seas or in gigantic oceans, surely have understood the fragility of our existence and even futility in the fact e of natural disasters. Likewise, our daily life is like a boat sailing on the seas: we sometimes enjoy appreciated tranquility, but at other times we face unexpected challenges. As human beings equipped with rational grace by using our wisdom and experience, we may overcome challenges; yet there are times when we realize that we are not in control of everything.
To be a believer is not a guarantee to be exempted from crisis. Storms threaten everyone, whether rich or poor, skillful or inexperienced people, believers or non-believers (Prov 22:2).
- Sailing in the boat brings to us a deep message that we are all together destined to reach a specific goal. Today’s passage makes us conscious that we are not alone, but instead that God is with us in our journey at all times, when the waves gently carry the boat forward or when storms try to sink it. The main issue is do we disregard God’s imperative role in our lives, or will we call upon His name for help, as the prophet Joel says: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Joel 2:32)?
- The obedience of the storm to the Divine order invites us to think that the non-rational creation in its way respects and obeys the Divine Supreme Authority. This is something which we cannot fully comprehend with our human mind, yet it heralds the Truth confessed by Saint Paul: “”One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Eph 4:6).
With this reading let us nourish our souls, we who are travelers from life to Life. Our journey may not be smooth nor comply with our plans with unexpected surprises. Yet being aware that the Captain of the universe prudently is navigating us in our spiritual lives and steering us into His safe harbor of peace and tranquility, let us all joyfully thank and praise Him. Amen.