In Times of Stress and Worry
We know that not every day in life is easy.
There are times of struggle or uncertainty or fear. A recent weekday Gospel dealt with such times.
The friends of Jesus were in a boat out on the lake and the winds got strong, the boat was rocking and they felt they might sink. Jesus was, somehow in all this commotion, asleep, and they cried out to him in fear. The story tells us Jesus awoke and calmed the seas and winds and told his friends, do not be afraid.
“Who is this man? The story asks, that he has such power.” This story may have happened as the Gospel writer tells us, but it is also meant to be about us.
Sometimes life gets rough, and we are filled with fear or grief. What to do? As friends of Jesus we can do what his friends did in that boat. We can speak with Jesus (or the Holy Spirit or the Father), and in all honesty, tell God our fears. Not so much describe the problem (“my boat is sinking”) but tell God what is in your heart (“I am scared to death”). Find those words that really say how it is with you. Speak them.
And then listen.
Jesus does not claim to be a magician, always making things “right” in our lives. He promises always to be with us, even, maybe especially, in times of stress, danger, fear, or grief.
As Bishop Desmond Tutu put it “Victory is Ours. Goodness is stronger than evil; Love is stronger than hate; Light is stronger than darkness; Life is stronger than death; Victory is ours through Him who loves us.” This is the Christian proclamation of faith.
Ignatius invites us to speak with Jesus as you would speak with your closest friend.
Fr. Paul SJ