– St Irenaeus –
“Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” [Matthew 8:23-27]
Today’s Gospel recounts the story of Jesus and the disciples being in a boat on Lake Galilee when a fierce windstorm threatens them. The disciples wake Jesus and plead with him to save them.
Jesus’ immediate response “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” seems to be a bit tough on the disciples. They were experienced fishermen who knew a bit about the waves and weather and would not have feared for their lives unless they were in genuine danger. They did, after all, wake Jesus and ask him to save them, so they must have had some hope that he could help them.
The disciples had witnessed Jesus healing all sorts of diseases and casting out demons but perhaps expecting him to be able to control the weather seemed to them a bridge too far! Their response after Jesus calms the storm; “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?” indicates that they have not yet fully comprehended who Jesus is – God made flesh. They did not do so until after Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to them.
Despite this, the disciples had left everything to follow Jesus and stuck with him. We know that Jesus rose from the dead and sent the Holy Spirit to be with us always. What are we prepared to leave behind in order to follow him?
by Elizabeth Harrington
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