Dear Friends in Jesus Christ,
Do you worry? Yes, we all worry a lot about many things. I think the people who worry the most are mothers. I believe worrying is one of a mother’s instinct. Once I asked my mother, “When are you going stop worrying about everything?” She said, “When they put me in the grave.” I told her, “I don’t think so, you will still be worrying about us.” I guess that if we were to write down all the things we are worried, anxious, or concerned about our list would go from the sanctuary here right back to the main door of the church and maybe even well out into the street. Just think of all the things we are worried about: parents worried about their children, people worried about their health, or that of others, farmers worried about the weather, or their livestock, financial worries, worries about relationships, worries about world events and worries about so many different things.
We see in today’s gospel that the disciple’s were in great troubled and were worried about their safety. But Jesus walks towards them and saves them. All the time when we are faced with troubles, just as in today’s Gospel, Jesus comes to us in some way, usually through the help of those near to us and says, “Courage! It is I! Do not be afraid.” How often I have heard it said, “If it was not for the grace of God’s, or if it wasn’t for the help of so-and-so, I would never have made it through that time.” Therefore, when we are worried let us turn to Jesus and continue to trust in him. He may not come in the way we expect him to come. He has his own way, that is what we see in today’s first reading. God promised that he will pass by Prophet Elijah. The prophet looked for God in many different forms. “A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains and crushing rocks— but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake — but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was fire— but the LORD was not in the fire. After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound and Lord was there. When he heard this Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went and stood at the entrance of the cave.”
I have a question in my mind, “Was Jesus ever worried? And what did he do then. Was Jesus ever afraid? Did Jesus ever worry? Yes, he did. And what did he do when he had worries and how did he overcome them? On two occasions in the Gospel we see Jesus afraid. On each of the two occasions he prayed to his Father and in prayer he found the strength to continue and face the difficult situation. In Gethsemane, the night before his crucifixion, he prayed to his Father to let the cup, i.e. his passion, pass him by. Jesus’ prayer was answered because he got the strength to face his passion, “Not my will, but yours be done.” On another occasion, also thinking of his passion, Jesus said, “Now my soul is troubled.” (John 12:27) Imagine Jesus saying “Now my soul is troubled.” It is perhaps a bit of a shock but on this occasion also Jesus prayed to his Father and recovered his strength during prayer. When troubles and worries come our way, our best approach is the approach of Jesus. PRAY, and we will get the strength to continue and, hopefully, like what happened to the pregnant woman in Trinidad, Jesus may send help to us through some kind person. Whatever happens continue to trust in Jesus.
When troubles come our way often we forget that God is still with us. It is strange really, but that is what happens to so many people when they get upset. They think God has gone on vacation. But that is not so. God is still with us. We cannot always rely on our feelings, and we can rely on them still less when there is something bothering us. The truth is that God is with us always, whether or not we feel his presence. Don’t ever forget that Jesus and Mary are always with you no matter what your feelings tell you. God and Mary will not abandon you. Remember when Jesus was worried he prayed and received strength in prayer to face his passion. Let’s finish with a reflection to assure us that Jesus is still with us even when we don’t feel his presence.
God bless you,