Deacon’s Homily — 12th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Deacon Gary – Homily 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

Today is a special day. Not only is it the first day of summer it is Father’s Day. We get to share this day with St. Joseph who is the foster father of Jesus and the patron saint of the universal church. We also share this day with God our Father, as Father of us all. Traditionally we look at the title of Father as the protector and provider of a family. This was true for St. Joseph and is true when referencing God. We are God’s family, we are all His children with Jesus our brother.

 

In the First reading God reaches out to Job to bring him comfort through a storm. God described the storm as if it were an infant, setting limits as a father would to protect his children.

 

In the Gospel Jesus reassures his disciples to not fear the storm as God has power over all things, even the wind and the sea. Jesus is using this example to help the disciples understand that throughout all the storms that we will face in life, all the things that happen to us that are outside of our control, to have faith in God, for God is always with us and is more powerful than anything we will face in life.

 

How many times have we been faced with difficulties in our lives and feel as though things are out of control, feeling very alone and scared? We look for some sort of peace and cannot find it. It is like looking for Jesus and not finding him or feeling as though he does not care as the disciples did discovering him asleep in the stern of the boat. They called out, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” I am sure each and every one of us can related to how the disciples felt at that moment.

 

That brings to light that the feeling of peace, the calming of the storms in our life that we are looking for does not come from a physical encounter with Christ but comes from an encounter of faith, faith that God is always present in our lives even when we cannot see Him.

 

When I was growing up, I was blessed with a roof over my head, clothes on my back, shoes on my feet, and food on the table. That in itself was a blessing from God. There was a time were we had no car, no phone, our good shoes were for Sunday Mass and school and our old school shoes were for play. We didn’t have much, but we had all that mattered.

 

Not that I realized it then, but by not having much in material things, we spent more time with each other. Looking closer at it now, I can see the Lord’s blessing in a world of few distractions. That is where we find love. We find God in the silence, even the silence that exists in the storms of our lives.

 

You might ask, how can there be silence in a storm. I am sure you have heard about the eye of a hurricane, where in the center of the hurricane there is a place of calm where the wind and sea are still. Find the eye of the storms that you face in your life struggles. In the center of the chaos is that place of calm where you encounter God. You just need to have faith and trust in His love.

 

No one will travel through life without experiencing difficult times. One may face prolonged illness, severe anxiety and/or depression, foreclosure of their home, divorce, deteriorating family relationships, loss of a job or sense of personal worth, loss of a loved one, various addictions, etc.

 

Fear can cause us to lose faith that God cares about us or even exists. The disciples in the boat represent us, both as individuals and as the church. Faith is rooted in trust. Fear overcame them during the storm because they lacked trust in the Lord. They lacked faith in the saving power of Jesus. They viewed Jesus’ sleeping as not caring if they perished.

 

Where do you live in the midst of the storms of your life, with fear like the disciples or with faith in Christ? Are you choosing to sail through life with or without Jesus?

 

Remember when Peter saw Jesus walking on the water and the impossible happened, Peter started to also walk on the water toward Jesus. He was able to walk on the water as long as he kept his sight on Jesus. When he turned inward toward his doubts and fears, when he lost faith, he began to sink.

 

The point in that parable and today’s parable is that we must trust completely in the power of Christ’s love for us, that even in the midst of the worst possible storms in our lives, he will not lose us in the storm, we will not sink and die. We are not alone, we have not been abandoned as that is what the evil one wants us to believe, the evil one wants us to despair.

 

Faith in God’s love for us is our lifeboat, our surety that we will be safe from the destructive elements of this world. It does not mean that we will not face difficult storms in our lives, we are called to share in the sufferings of Christ on the cross, but it does assure us that we will not traverse these storms alone, but cradled in the loving arms of our Lord.

 

Storms in our lives will come and go, and for some they may seem unending. It is our choice to attempt to sail through them on our own without Jesus, or make the conscious choice to include him in our life’s journey. Only one choice conquers fear, faith and trust in the loving presence of our Lord Jesus in our life.

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