Saturday, January 30, 2021

Saturday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

There are countless questions that are surfacing during this pandemic, especially as the vaccines are starting to be administered to more and more sectors: how will our lives be changed once most people are vaccinated?; what will be the new “normal?”; how will this alter Mass attendance?”; how will our ministries be changed forever?”; will technology continue to overshadow, and perhaps eliminate, common human interactions?”; will we be able to maintain the positive developments during this pandemic, like families spending more time together?

These are human questions that have no clear answers, but as people of “faith,” we hope for something positive to emerge because we know, deep down, that there is a “presence” guiding us and loving us. Faith is best not being defined, it escapes definition, but as being experienced as a hidden insight, a gift given, that shapes our lives and our worlds when we surrender to this “Presence of hoping” in the future.

Abraham did not physically “see” God but intuited this Presence speaking to him an absurd message that he was to leave his country with Sarah and create a new humanity...all at 75 years old!!!!! Abraham had no idea where God, this hidden Presence, was sending him, he and Sarah just surrendered. And they did so with hearts saturated with Hope.

Jesus is sound asleep in the boat with his disciples as a fierce storm creates powerful and destructive waves and winds. The disciples are terrified and wake Jesus up in the midst of this storm, who with a word, calms the storm.

Only God can do this, the very point of this story.

We all have storms to face and live through: uncertainties, illness, aging, not working or working at deeply unsatisfying careers, trying to make ends meet, marriage difficulties, loneliness, being excluded... These situations create inner storms that can be overwhelming. We are being called to “awaken” to the Presence of Christ, who seems to be sound asleep. He is not!!!

Jesus is always AWAKE, waiting for us to turn to him in hope. Faith is awakening to the Presence of Jesus within our hearts, an encounter giving us Hope.

Fr. Frank