Tuesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
The calming of the storm
He got into a boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a violent storm came up on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by waves; but he was asleep. They came and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” He said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?” Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was great calm. The men were amazed and said, “What sort of man is this, whom even the winds and the sea obey?” Mt 8,23-27
The sea of Tiberias, with its frequent storms, represents very well the experience of the life with all its difficulties. In the storm described by the today’s gospel, we are struck by the contrast between the fear of the disciples and the quietness of Jesus, who sleeps calmly, as if for him the winds and the storm did not exist. Then a question arises: is the sea rising because Jesus is sleeping? or the faith allows Jesus to sleep, despite the agitation of the sea? Both of these questions are legitimate and both hide a truth. Our experience of life, in fact, with all its ups and downs in the faith, has taught us that every time we have been weak in our faith, Jesus was like to be asleep, absent from our events, which the winds have immediately upset and a storm materialized. But it is also true that, when under the winds of the life, some storms took place and we had not the confidence to abandon ourselves in the hands of the Lord, we always suffered the experience of the fear. At a certain point, in both cases, like the disciples in the gospel of today, we had to wake up the Lord screaming: “Lord, save us! We are perishing!”. We can, however, testify that, at that point, the Lord always played his role: the storms have been sedated, the sea placated down and it remained calm. Another question, then, arises: “How can it happen that, after having experienced many times his reliability in untangling our tangled skeins, we still experience our little faith?”. It is a mystery which has its roots in our inability to fully comprehend the importance of having faith, but anyhow, it is all right, because it allows us to experience every time the Lord’s goodness and his prompt intervention in our human affairs. It is the same experience which our children had when, being still not familiar with the swimming, were used to come off in the sea with us, being confident in the fact that we would have always acted to make them safe.