Holyrood Church 715 West 179 Street, Upper West side Manhattan, USA, 212-923-3770

Calm and peace are Jesus’ gifts to us!

Reading: He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. Matthew 8:26.
Good morning, happy Tuesday, and many blessings my dear family.
Today’s Gospel (Matthew 8:23-27) is a familiar story. It is the story of the storm at sea. As we know, Jesus’ disciples became very frightened when a severe storm came up. Despite the fact that several of the disciples were experienced fishermen, the disciples were terrified. The storm was ferocious, and waves were beginning to swamp their boat. And unbelievably, Jesus remained sound asleep in the boat while the storm raged all around him.

Finally, his disciples woke him up, begging him to save them. However, Jesus rebuked them and asked: “Why are you terrified, you of little faith?” Jesus stood up and rebuked the winds and the seas and immediately calm descended on the waters and on the disciples. Jesus’ disciples were awed and amazed! They asked themselves: who is this man whom the winds and waves obey?

Take a moment and remember a time in your life when you were extremely frightened. What was the “storm” that created such turmoil and fear in your life? Did you turn to Jesus and beg him to rescue you? Or did you simply hunker down in your little boat and hold on tight?

Does Jesus not care? Is God indifferent? Perhaps we can recognize ourselves in the disciples’ questions. When we experience pain, suffering or distress, it seems strange that God allows it to continue. It is difficult at such times to receive Jesus’ wish for peace when we are so preoccupied by what confronts us. Jesus always takes a longer view and asks the same of us. He puts the present moment in God’s hands, trusting that God will work in all things for our good.
At times in our lives, Jesus may appear to be asleep in our boat when we desperately need his help and grace to get us through the ferocious storm we are experiencing. Despite his seeming absence or lack of concern, do we continue to trust that he truly is with us and that he is gracing us even if we don’t feel it? Often, it only is with hindsight that we come to know and believe that Jesus was with us every moment.

The next time you are in turmoil, I invite you to sit down and breathe slowly and mindfully for 3 or 4 minutes. Breathe in peace and exhale stress and fear. After your several minutes, check yourself: are you as agitated as you were before? Or are you calmer? Is your mind clearer? If so, then we know that Jesus is with us!

When we are upset or fearful, we automatically batten down the hatches, as the sailors would say. In our language we would say: “we shut down.” And perhaps we need to shut down momentarily. However, we need an additional step. We need to open our minds and hearts to Jesus’ presence. And if we truly do this, eventually we will become calm and peaceful. Practicing calm and peace will rebuke the winds and waves in our lives. Calm and peace are Jesus’ gifts to us! Today take time to consciously receive these wondrous gifts! It will change your day---and you!

Date news: 
Tuesday, June 28, 2022 - 13:00

Ministry at the time of Coronavirus (Covid 19): Prevent, cure and accompany

Now we have to shape what some have started calling; The Church at Home. Although I keep asking myself; What do those who do not have a home do? For this reason, at the same time, I am declaring today in our Holyrood Church a Lenten day of prayer, fasting and reading the Bible in the Time of the Coronavirus.

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