- The Abbey of the Genesee - https://www.geneseeabbey.org -

July 2, 2019

Fr. John Denburger, OCSO [1]

13th Tuesday in Ordinary Time
Genesis 19: 15 – 29; Ps 26; Matthew 8: 23 – 27

St. Matthew recounts for us quite a scene, an unforgettable one for Jesus’ disciples. What began as a simple boat ride turned suddenly into a nightmare – a violent storm came up – literally, it could be translated a “great earthquake” – it was not a bit of wind nor a slight drizzle, they were victims of a tempest of great magnitude. We can imagine the disciples struggling to get to Jesus, trying to keep their balance in a rocking boat and all the while, notwithstanding, the noise, the rain, the rocking Jesus is sound asleep.

They rouse Him “Lord, save us! We are perishing!”  Admonishing them for their “little faith” Jesus immediately calms this storm – His rebuke is enough. St. Matthew tells us “The men were amazed” – the word “amazed” is surely an understatement. Perhaps, after the Resurrection, they remembered something in the Psalms that spoke of Jesus – Ps 95, for example: “A mighty God is the Lord…To Him belongs the sea, for He made it…”

St. Matthew recounts this event for the believers of his time and for the faithful of all times not simply as something nice to know about the Lord. It is a living truth,  a belief we can call upon at anytime but especially in those times in which we are experiencing a kind of tempest, an experience of temptation, the experience of being out of control. There are those times in which we know that resolution alone, will power alone, good intention alone cannot save us – when we learn painfully that I cannot be my own savior. There is only one Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Rather than be drawn into frustration, into hopelessness, into a quiet despair – we are always in the boat with the Lord, we are in Him and He in us. Like the disciples we can pray, “Lord, save me! I am perishing!” The Lord hears the cry of the poor but I must accept my poverty and not curse it. Rather than let my poverty turn me into myself, as painful, as distressing as it is, it is a grace to turn us to and into our Lord.

The Lord, in His mercy, will come to our aid as He wills in His wisdom. May the Spirit of the Lord grant us the conviction to believe this.