One of the very few times in the Bible that Jesus is reported to have been asleep. Apparently the moment that the disciples needed him the most, Jesus was so relaxed that he fell asleep on a cushion.
Just when we need Jesus the most, He seems to be asleep—not listening to our prayers. Ordinary events can turn into catastrophes. Getting out of bed, heading for work, taking a trip with the family: seemingly harmless adventures can turn into tragedies. We don’t know when storms are going to blow. Even the experts at the weather stations get it wrong sometimes. Just like we cannot control the weather neither can we control the unpredictable storms that can happen in our life. For example, the death of someone we love. We are not in charge. God reminds us how fragile we are—how dependent we are on His Divine Providence. One microscopic germ can kill us; a cancer; a car accident. As much as we think that we might be prepared, even after a long illness, we are never prepared. Death leaves us feeling helpless. Very tempting, when we find ourselves down and out, in the middle of a storm, to blame God. Tempting to think that God caused whatever calamity we are facing. Some folks think that perhaps God is punishing us. No such thing. We should know better. If God ever decided to punish us, none of us would be alive! We never get what we deserve. 99.9 % of our problems are brought on by ourselves. We make wrong decisions, we make mistakes, we get into fights with each other—then come the consequences. God never wants evil for us, only good. Yet, we know that evil does happen.
Sometimes bad things happen to good people. There is no explanation. Why did St. Therese of Lisieux have to die at the age of 24 of tuberculosis? What did Padre Pio ever do to deserve to live in such pain from the stigmata? There are no explanations, none that will satisfy our intellectual curiosity. Only through faith can we hope to survive the storm. Look at the disciples. They were afraid when the waves started breaking the boat. They yelled, they screamed, and they cried. We’ve heard that “big boys don’t cry”, yes they do. The bigger, the louder. Crying doesn’t mean that we have no faith. Tears are a gift—just like all the emotions created by God. Being afraid is OK, as long as we come to our senses sooner or later. The disciples knew what to do—they came to Jesus for help.
Even after the Lord calmed the storm at sea, no doubt they forgot when the next crisis hit them. They certainly forgot when Jesus was accused, beaten, and taken to be crucified. They forgot because they all ran. We tend to forget also. Over and over God has pulled us out of difficult situations and no doubt that we are grateful. However, when we are stuck in the middle of a storm, we think that we have to save ourselves. We need to remember who is in the boat with us. Jesus never leaves us alone. The Lord loves us more than we love ourselves and knows what we need even before we ask. Speaking of taking care of us…..Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads who have taken care of their families—good times and bad times. (Father please stand) Difficult to be a Father these days, when all the weapons are aimed against the family. Fathers, remember that you are priests of your home. Your job, your vocation is to guide your family to heaven, starting with yourself. Be the first to think about God, giving thanks to God because from Him comes all that we have, all that we are. Be strong, not so much in body as in spirit. Lead by the example of patience, wisdom, willingness to listen. Fathers we need you, your wives need you, your children need you, the Church needs you. Today we pray especially for you during this Holy Mass. Continue to embrace your vocation that God has given to you. Blessings on you and may the Lord give you many more years in His service. Happy Father’s Day.