As Jesus got into the boat, his disciples
followed him. A windstorm arose on the sea, so great
that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but
he was asleep. And they went and woke him up,
saying, "Lord, save us! We are perishing!" And he said
to them, "Why are you afraid, you of little faith?"
Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the
sea; and there was a dead calm. They were amazed,
saying, "What sort of man is this, that even the
winds and the sea obey him?"
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I come to you in this
meditation ready to do whatever it is you ask. Left
to myself I often take the easy and convenient path,
yet I know the way of a Christian is through
the narrow gate. In you I find the reason to
abandon the easy path for a more perfect mission of
love. I’m ready to learn the meaning of your command:
grant me the grace of a mature faith.
1. God’s Silence, Man’s Faith: We can
imagine ourselves in the place of the apostles, in this
poor boat tossed by the turbulent waves. The situation instantly
speaks to our worst of fears; yet Jesus sleeps. Our
temptation is to wake him…and too many souls do so
through complaining incessantly, despairing attitudes, withdrawing from prayer, or unloading
anger on others. When in a moment of trial we
find life is no longer under our complete control, the
option of meltdown is always at hand. But we mustn’t
take that route; instead we must contemplate the power that
emanates from the sleeping Christ. Trials are intended by God
to draw us closer to him and increase our dependence
on him. We have to live from faith; otherwise all
that reigns is fear, insecurity and bitterness. The “Silence of
Christ” is powerful. To pass over its meaning lightly is
to abandon some of the deepest lessons of Christ’s heart.
The “Silence of Christ” must teach us.
2. The “Silence of Christ” Speaks to
Our Faith: What is Christ’s sleep like? As a young
mother, Mary watched Jesus sleep many times. Archbishop Martinez writes:
“Jesus was exceedingly beautiful when he spoke the words
of eternal life, accomplished wonders, looked with love, pardoned with
mercy and caressed with tenderness. But I would like to
have seen him while he was sleeping because I could
have contemplated him to my heart’s content, without the fascination
of his gaze distracting me, without the perfection of his
beauty and the glory of his splendor dazzling my eyes
and enrapturing my soul. The beauty of Jesus awake is
far too great for my smallness. Who could support it?
I felt it more suited to me veiled by sleep,
as the glory of the sun is more adapted to
my eyes when I look at it through a translucent
lens” (When Jesus Sleeps, p.15).
May I trust the
power of Christ just as much when he chooses not
to act as when he does.
3. God’s Eternal Pedagogy: Water, a boat, the
apostles and Christ… this scene repeats itself over and over
again in the Gospel. Water is a symbol of the
experiences of life taken on a human level; the boat
is the experience of faith on a supernatural level --
it is our life with Christ. Christ’s message is that
we can never let our experiences of life overwhelm our
experience of faith. We have to live not from the
surface level of impressions of the moment, but from the
deep channel of faith that reveals the action of God,
the wisdom of his Providence and the ultimate destiny of
eternity. Faith is what reveals Christ’s presence in our boat;
faith is what makes us believe that every wave and
wind gust are blessed invitations to confide in the One
who rules all. Faith is what permits God to console
our hearts, calm our fears and preserve our joy in
the midst of problems and difficulties that may take months
or years to run their course.
Conversation with Christ: Lord, I know belief makes
me vulnerable. But I know that I will not know
your love if I do not believe that you can
make me happier than I can be by myself. If
I do not face the enemies of my soul and
my mission and abandon myself to your grace, I will
not know your victory.
Resolution: Today I will take a problem and, with complete
trust and confidence in him, leave it totally in God’s