January 9, 2019
God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him. In this is love brought to perfection among us, that we have confidence on the day of judgment because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love. 1_Jn_4:11-18
In the midst of the storm, when the disciples saw Jesus walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out. They had all seen him and were terrified. But at once he spoke with them, “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!” He got into the boat with them and the wind died down. They were completely astounded. They had not understood the incident of the loaves. On the contrary, their hearts were hardened. Mk_6:45-52
We might say that the disciples were, figuratively, walking on the security of the land, while Jesus was trying to teach them how to walk on water. Sure, they made their living as fishermen. And, as fisherman, I’m sure they were all able to swim. And they would have also been very familiar with the quickly advancing, evening storms on the Sea of Galilee.
But this was different.
Now, as followers of Jesus, they had stepped out of their familiar turf and were sailing in uncharted territory. They were supposed to be putting their trust in this Jesus, and yet, they were probably asking each other, why He would send them out on a potentially stormy sea, all by themselves.
And, you know what, beloved, we might have asked the same thing throughout our entire lives.
Why did I have to leave the security and fun of living at home with my mom – to go to some strange new place called school?
And just when I was starting to get used to the routine of elementary school, I had to readjust to the challenges of middle school and high school and college.
And just when I was getting comfortable with constantly changing schools and all of their tests, then I had to find a job, with a boss and too few vacation days and a serious guilt trip if I ever got sick.
And then there was the mortgage, and the insurances, and the kids, and the temper tantrums, and the orthodontist, and the colleges, and the weddings.
Remember those days, beloved?
And just when things finally seemed to be settling down again, we had to start all over again with grandkids, God bless them all!!
And sometimes we wonder why life is so, exactly the same, as those disciples in their boat, in the middle of a storm. Maybe Jesus wasn’t just speaking to His disciples, but to all of us, as well.
Maybe this life that we are so familiar with, this life of constant storms, is really just our ultimate test of FAITH . . .
Didn’t we understand how, in the multiplication of loaves, all those people didn’t go starving, but were miraculously fed, instead – (because of this perfect love of Jesus)?
Didn’t we understand how all those outcast lepers were healed – so that they could be reunited with their families and communities – (because of this perfect love of Jesus)?
Didn’t we see how Jesus even had power over nature – (to show us that nothing, not even nature, can keep us from His perfect love)?
And in that love, and with that power, what can we possibly be afraid of? You see, God will provide us with EVERYTHING we need. All we have to do is TRUST in Him, and love others, just as He loves us!
St. John calls it “Perfect Love,” this Love for God – and for one another. And when we can base our lives on that Love of Jesus, that Love of God for us, then, no financial crash, no fire, nor theft, nor death can ever harm us, even when it is our own death,
because God will protect us in His perfect love.
And in our perfect love, as John tells us, there is NO FEAR.
Imagine living a perfectly fearless life, brothers and sisters!
It’s there, just waiting for us,
when we open our hearts to God’s perfect love!
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