This Sunday’s gospel is the well-known and well- loved story of Jesus calming the storm and his disciples. It is really two stories. The first is the story of Jesus and the second is the story of the disciples.

Let us begin by looking at the story of Jesus.  It is the coming of evening.  Jesus had spent the day with crowds of people all clamouring for his attention.  He must have been very tired at this stage.  He invites his disciples to cross to the other side.  This will take him away from the crowds.  His disciples took him in their boat and set off.  Jesus lies down on a cushion and falls asleep.

A storm arises and the disciples are terrified.  They waken Jesus.  He immediately calms the storm and his words, “Quiet now, be calm” are the same words he used when quieting and healing the man possessed by a demon.  Jesus then turns to his disciples and rebukes them for their lack of faith.

Let us now turn to Jesus’ disciples.  When Jesus invites them to sail “over to the other side” they respond quickly and set sail.  Their boat, probably well-used, had a place at the stern where they always kept a carpet and a cushion. So, it was easy for Jesus to go there to rest.  Among his friends, Jesus is relaxed and falls asleep.

Suddenly a storm arises.   The disciples lose their nerve and wakening Jesus cry out, “Master, do you not care?  We are going down.”  They were in total panic. (We know that it was not unusual for sudden severe squalls to arise on the Sea of Galilee due mainly to the local topography.  The disciples’ reaction to Jesus who calms the storm is to be filled with awe.  They ask, “Who can this be?”  They are not at all sure yet of who Jesus is.

It is good to ask ourselves, “What is this gospel saying to me in my life right now?”

This passage begins, “With the coming of evening”.  We might ask ourselves, “Where am I in my life just now?  In the morning, afternoon, or evening?

“Let us cross over to the other side.”   Do we need to move to another side of ourselves? To speak to others who are not from “our side”?  Or to work and be in an unfamiliar place?

“They took him just as he was in the boat”.  Can we now rest in the presence of Jesus just as we are, knowing that we are deeply accepted and loved?

“Master, do you not care? We are going down”.  Does this evoke a memory in you of losing all faith and trust in Jesus when times became very tough?  Looking back now you can probably see that Jesus was very much with you during that stormy time in your life just as he was in mine.  We can see now that Jesus always calms the storms in our lives, filling us with awe and gratitude.





Pauline McGrath, OP.