Tuesday, June 30, 2015

"Save Us Lord! We Perish!"

A Reflection on Matthew 8:23-27

Being a disciple of Jesus means following Him wherever He leads us, and trusting that no matter where He takes us, we can rest assured that all is part of His loving plan and purpose, and that in all circumstances He will provide for all our needs and protect us from all evil. It is only natural for us to fear when we do not know what is coming next, or when we are in a situation, like the disciples in the boat, from which we cannot run; in which we cannot help ourselves and therefore must rely on God. The Lord does not rebuke His disciples for their plea, "Lord, save us," but rather, for their conclusion about what is happening to them in the face of this danger:  …"we perish!"
He said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?” 
Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea, 
and there was great calm. 
The men were amazed and said, “What sort of man is this, 
whom even the winds and the sea obey?”
It takes "little faith" to follow Jesus when "all is calm" and "all is bright." We love to go to church on Christmas Day and Easter Sunday. Yes, it is good to rejoice in the coming of the Lord and in the salvation He won for us in His conquering of sin and death. These same disciples who followed Jesus into the boat and saw that even the winds and the sea obey Him forgot all about the miracles when Judas and the temple guards showed up. It is natural to forget and to flee. But we are called to do the supernatural. We are called to follow and accompany Jesus on Good Friday, too. As Paul writes in his second letter to Timothy: "It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; If we endure, we will also reign with Him."