Typhoons are perennial here in the Philippines. We usually get twenty to twenty-seven annually but not all of them hit a landfall. I practically grew up with typhoons; as kids, we usually enjoyed it because classes were suspended due to flooding and gusty wind. But I later realized that its power to destroy and alter lives is a hard fact of life. To this effect, Filipinos associate it to divine action, a Deus Ex Machina cliché. Storms come and go, but the Filipino spirit remains.
In today’s readings, Scripture scholars tell us that Jesus’ power over nature brings order and life. Jesus, whose power comes from God, elicits awe and wonder as we hear in the Gospel. But more than that, Mark’s intention is to bring us to believe in Jesus. This Faith should come from our innermost being to believe in God who has power and authority over all His creation. We can see in the gospel narrative that even the expert in the seas were terrified by the fearsome storm. We can say that as we experience life, even the toughest who experience problems and anxieties in life fall on their knees for God’s help and assistance.
I remember seeing a bumper sticker, “A person who kneels before God, can stand up to any problem.” Indeed, we have a mighty help, a sure refuge, and a source of hope for the future. The second reading clearly explains this hope in Jesus. It was Christ’s love for us, it was His love for all that He obediently accepted death on the cross so that we can share with that same hope that God will eventually triumph if we will only seek His will in our lives.
Life is not a bed of roses. We face problems every day, and we are tossed continuously by difficulties, uncertainties and anxieties of life. This overwhelming angst of life makes us press the ‘panic button’ of prayer. Like the disciples in the Gospel, we call on Jesus for assistance.
Most of the time, our prayers revolve around our ‘shopping list’ from God. We call on God’s goodness to help us face our storms; problems, sickness, financial struggles, relationship problems and many more. This is only but normal. We can see that in the gospel readings today, the disciples didn’t think twice in waking up Jesus, because they have a close relationship with Him. Two thousand years later, all who profess Jesus as the Son of God, continue to shout, whisper, and call on His name for protection, assistance and help.
This is the peace Jesus is offering us that even if we’re in the eye of the storm, we have this child-like peace in the Father’s bosom. Despite the overwhelming feeling of hopelessness, we continue to trust in God’s providential and benevolent action. That is the joy of the gospel, the encounter with Jesus.
As we recall how Jesus calmed the storm, may this bring us into the blessed hope that all Christians share. May our personal relationship with Jesus give us the courage and perseverance to face life’s difficulties and problems, that no matter how hard life may press on us, we have that peace that comes in Jesus who is the Master and Lord of life and the universe.
As we continue this week with our lives, let us pray to God to increase our Faith; to give us the grace to hope in the things to come and grace to see God’s hand at work even if sometimes we feel God is not present. No matter what typhoon or storm we are facing or about to face, we are confident that Jesus is Lord!