In the Bible we find texts and stories of all kinds and genres. This Sunday is the turn of the horror stories (almost). A group of twelve men, set out to cross the Sea of Galilee one evening in a little boat. As they struggle to make progress against the wind, the night overtakes them enwrapping them in complete darkness. Even the expertise of fishermen seems to be of no use. As time passes the wind becomes fiercer and the waves toss the boat up and down. Then in the middle of the night, out of the dark, the figure of a man appears in the distance and makes its way towards them. Who knows what kind of strange creatures live in the depths of those waters? Who knows if the stories of ghosts and paranormal phenomena are in fact true? They can do nothing other than panic and scream in terror.
When the ghost finally reaches the boat, he speaks to them over the roar or the sea and the wind: “Courage! It's me! Don't be afraid.” It is Jesus! What a relieve! But before anyone can ask him for help, Peter asks to be able to walk on the water as well, leaving everyone else bewildered. Peter doesn’t want the storm to finish, he wants to control it. He is convinced he has the faith, the knowledge, the expertise, the emotional strength to do it… But he doesn’t, and he sinks. So, Jesus takes him by the hand and helps him into the boat, at which moment the wind drops.
Story over? Not quite, because the real storm has just started, but his time deep in the hearts of those men, shaking everything they knew until then. What did just happen? What does this all mean? Why did we fail so badly? Why didn’t we trust in God better? Who is this Jesus of Nazareth who can multiply food, walk on the water and has power over the elements? That is, in fact, the real storm that the Gospel will calm as it unfolds and they learn more about themselves, God and His plan.
This story might not be remembered as the scariest story of all times, after all, but it will certainly be remembered as the story that helps us make sense and expel all the bouts, the shame and the failures that agitate our heart. As we come to acknowledge Jesus as God and saviour and accept that we are mere fragile humans, things start falling into place.
Fr Daniel Herrero Pena
Our condolences to Martin Lucas and family on the death of his mother Terri. May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.
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