29 June 2020

Calming the storm

13th Week OT (T)
Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP
St. Dominic Priory, NOLA

We used to ask the Lord to protect us from “all anxiety” after the Our Father. Now, we ask to be “safe from all distress.” Both translations come from the Latin, ab omni perturbatione securi, from all perturbations, secure us. The aquatic perturbations scaring the disciples to death demonstrate in dramatic form the point Jesus has been making for some time in his public ministry – fear and faith are not compatible. Faith necessarily entails trusting in divine providence that all will work out as it should. Not necessarily how we want. . .how it should. And that level of letting go can create its own layer of anxiety and fear. Jesus reprimands his seasick students: “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?” The clear implication here is that faith overcomes fear. If you have faith, you won't be afraid. But is this true? Fr. John told us last week about a woman w/no mask at Mass. When he confronted her, she said, “Where's your faith, Father?” Faith doesn't require us to abandon reason. Neither does it require us to abandon planning and taking precautions. What it does require is that we surrender control. Be reasonable. Plan accordingly. Take precautions. But at the same time surrender whatever control you think you have. The disciples' freakout didn't calm the storm. Their calendars didn't calm the storm. All their preparations and precautions didn't calm the storm. Jesus did.

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