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Notes from Fr. Vitalis

Crossing The Stormy Sea of Galilee.


Dear Parishioners,

We are all familiar with the story of Job in the Old Testament book and his unprecedented suffering. It is difficult to understand why God permits the Devil to wreak havoc on Job and subjected him to a breaking point. It is beyond our comprehension to fathom the existence of evil. It has been a primordial question why a loving God allows evil to existence. I cannot answer this question in this short reflection.


Our first reading today gives us an insight as God breaks his long silence to address Job, who had previously protested his innocence in the face of the intense suffering. We can identify with Job in his suffering. There are times when we find ourselves   besieged with inexplicable pain, suffering, grief, depression, anxiety, loneliness, sickness or with mental exhaustion. In an unusual fashion, God spoke to Job, asking series of questions to help Job reflect and confirm his trust in him. God points to his wisdom and power over creation. He demonstrates his supreme dominance over evil, stating that both mythological forces of evil and any natural forces are powerless before him.


In Psalm 107, the psalmist inspires us to always place our trust in God no matter the circumstance. Courage and trust in God in the face of insurmountable odds is at the heart of his thanksgiving. He envisions a series of circumstances similar to that of Job’s, of which God is poised to save us. The powerful and mysterious stormy sea represents the hostile forces which God had the power to destroy. In the face of shipwreck, praying and trusting ourselves to God is the only way to safety. Jesus manifests this power before his terrified disciples in today’s gospel.


On the Lake of Galilee, Jesus, along with his disciples, were overtaken by a sudden storm with the wind sweeping down on them. Jesus himself, asleep on a cushion was not perturbed as their boat was rocking and filling with water. “The sleep of Jesus symbolizes his spirit of total trust in the Father with the apostles, weak in faith, frightened and rash in their request for help.” He did not hesitate to come to their rescue. He rebuked the stormy sea and calmed everyone’s fear. He proved again the divine power that rests in him. His presence is not to be doubted. He renewed the confidence and trust of his disciples and led them safely to shore.


Crossing the stormy sea of Galilee presents another point for our reflection. The apostles found themselves passing a test of time. Although many of them were experienced fishers, their courage failed them when the elements grew so violent. The storm was far worse than the once they had known. The crossing became a test and a liberation. It homages their perception of who Jesus is as well as remove the boundaries of fear. They heard a commanding voice of Jesus and his mastery over the element of nature.


It is not an ordinary fear, rather a deep-rooted fear one experiences in the face of death. The anxiety to know that death is imminent, and you are powerless. It is obvious that the apostle’s faith has not yet become deep rooted enough to overcome the fear of death. Now, they are about to experience Jesus’ domination over hostile forces. This is just a glimpse of the future. Jesus rebuked the wind and said to the sea: “Quiet! Be still!” The wind fell off and everything grew calm.


What are your fears? The Lord is asking you to surrender them to him. He is telling us that he is the master over life and death. Jesus proves to be our hope and victory over the forces of destruction and death. May he deliver us from all anxiety and fears of death.


Sincerely Yours In the Lord,

Fr. Vitalis Anyanike, Pastor