Tuesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Amos 3:1-8.4:11-12; Matthew 8:23-27)
General George Marshall, the Army Chief of Staff during World War II and subsequent Secretary of State, was renowned for his self-control. Upon sending a squadron of bombers into combat, Marshall could take a nap without losing sleep over whether he made the right decision. In today’s gospel Jesus proves himself to be a person of even greater composure.
Jesus’ disciples are amazed that the sun and moon snap at his command. It is almost as remarkable that he could sleep in a small boat being rocked by a storm. But the story is meant to say more than Jesus had extraordinary powers over nature. The ship in the storm symbolizes the Church in its infancy being challenged in every direction – persecutions on one side, heresies on the other. The sleeping Jesus represents the temptation that Jesus is indifferent about what happens to his followers. But all they have to do is beseech his help with prayer. He readily arises to save them.
We too at times feel overwhelmed by the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Perhaps we have promised to do more than it now seems possible for us to accomplish. Then we have to find recourse in the Lord Jesus. As he calmed the storm for his disciples, he will assist us in our need.