It is 30th June 2020.
The readings are from Amos 3:1-8, 4:11-12; and the Gospel from Matthew 8:23-27.
Are we ready to meet our God?
Death is not the only passage to meet God but the storms and challenges of life can. God is not interested in punishing us rather increasing our faith in us.
There is a correlation between fear and faith. Where there is faith, there is no place for fear.
The prophet Amos presents a series of questions to explore the cause and the effect. In every action, there is a possibility or reaction or inaction but for those with the eyes of faith can perceive the divine action. Vocation cannot be resisted when God wants to speak and work through someone. “For the Lord disciplines those whom he loves, and chastises every child whom he accepts.” (Heb.12:6). Family of Abraham emerged, “like a brand plucked from the fire,” after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorah. We will be a new brand of love, hope and compassion for people around once the dust of the storm settles down. The closer we are to God, greater the responsibility for the actions we have done. It is in intimacy with God we notice the distance among ourselves.
The responsorial Psalm intercedes, “Lead me in your justice, Lord.” (Ps.5:9)
Today’s Gospel is the story of faith and hope cherished by the community of Mathew. “Save us, Lord! We are dying!” (Mt.8:25). This cry is echoed in every nook and corner of the world during this pandemic. Without warning the storm of covid-19 broke out. One day we are well and the next day we are in a crisis. But the response of Jesus for all of us is “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” (Mt.8:26).
We are all still in the storm of Covid-19 pandemic. It looks as though the Lord is far away, asleep, uncared of the plight but in reality, it is our faith is in slumber mode. Jesus never promised us a storm-free life. “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (Jn.16:33). Jesus will get us through in storm to reach the shores of peace and blessings.
African American Charles Albert Tindley wrote: “When the storms of life are raging, stand by me. When the world is tossing me, like a ship upon the sea, you who rule wind and water, stand by me.”
The boat represents the Church and the storm is the persecution that sparks fear and panic within the members of the Church. We, the Church are surely in the storm of covid-19 pandemic. Returning to community and reviving the connections with the community is the calm we are all praying tirelessly.
The story made the disciples to realize who Jesus was. Realization of the presence of Jesus is the spiritual courage we all require. Hold on to faith in the Lord until the Lord calms the storm in our life. Perseverance is the persistent hope that soon things will return to normal. Being proactive is the response of our faith while the reaction is the response of our limitations and narrow mindedness.
The community of Mathew was scattered and ravaged by the scathing attack from those who did not accept the emerging and believing communities. Realization comes by returning to the community. Jesus, the prince of peace alone can offer peace and calm to storm-filled and sin-stricken lives.
Mathew attempts to reassure the community even though they might have little faith. However, weak and fragile our faith is, our cry, and desperation will not go unnoticed by Jesus because He alone cares for us. The violence of storm cannot weaken the knots of faith interlocked in love and mercy. “Whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4). May you have a good day. God bless you.

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