0

A God Who Calms Our Storms

Memorial of Saint Irenaeus: Bishop & Martyr

First Reading: Amos 3:1-8; 4:11-12

Hear this word, O children of Israel, that the LORD pronounces over you,
over the whole family that I brought up from the land of Egypt:

You alone have I favored,
more than all the families of the earth;
Therefore I will punish you
for all your crimes.

Do two walk together
unless they have agreed?
Does a lion roar in the forest
when it has no prey?
Does a young lion cry out from its den
unless it has seized something?
Is a bird brought to earth by a snare
when there is no lure for it?
Does a snare spring up from the ground
without catching anything?
If the trumpet sounds in a city,
will the people not be frightened?
If evil befalls a city,
has not the LORD caused it?
Indeed, the Lord GOD does nothing
without revealing his plan
to his servants, the prophets.

The lion roars—
who will not be afraid!
The Lord GOD speaks—
who will not prophesy!

I brought upon you such upheaval
as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah:
you were like a brand plucked from the fire;
Yet you returned not to me,
says the LORD.

So now I will deal with you in my own way, O Israel!
and since I will deal thus with you,
prepare to meet your God, O Israel.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 5:4B-6A, 6B-7, 8

R. (9a) Lead me in your justice, Lord.
At dawn I bring my plea expectantly before you.
For you, O God, delight not in wickedness;
no evil man remains with you;
the arrogant may not stand in your sight.
R. Lead me in your justice, Lord.
You hate all evildoers;
you destroy all who speak falsehood;
The bloodthirsty and the deceitful
the LORD abhors.
R. Lead me in your justice, Lord.
But I, because of your abundant mercy,
will enter your house;
I will worship at your holy temple
in fear of you, O LORD.
R. Lead me in your justice, Lord.

Gospel: Matthew 8:23-27

As Jesus got into a boat, his disciples followed him.
Suddenly a violent storm came up on the sea,
so that the boat was being swamped by waves;
but he was asleep.
They came and woke him, saying,
“Lord, save us! We are perishing!”
He said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?”
Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea,
and there was great calm.
The men were amazed and said, “What sort of man is this,
whom even the winds and the sea obey?”

NAB

June

Oh the power and justice of our Lord! I can’t help but feel like we need a dramatic soundtrack playing in the background for today’s readings.

God is powerful and just. Though few of the faithful can doubt His power, we are sometimes reluctant to face His justice. The First Reading presents a scenario where people turned away from God. The Israelites kept breaking God’s commandments and so He was going to bring them to task.

*Cue scary music*

“So now I will deal with you in my own way, O Israel! and since I will deal thus with you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel.”

This reminds me of childhood when my sister and brother and I would disobey and we just knew the wrath and justice of my dad was coming. He was a loving and fair dad, but when we really messed up, we deserved those punishments.

So what about our Loving Father? Sometimes bad things happen because we’re sinners and we sin. We separate ourselves from God and the consequences are rough! We were all born with original sin, we all “sin and fall short of the glory of God.” (Ro 3:23). Other times bad things happen and it feels like a punishment for no reason. God isn’t up there slinging out vengeance.  Sin has double consequences: eternal & temporal but these ramifications aren’t punishment by God. (CCC1472).

We all will experience pain and suffering through no fault of our own. We live in a fallen world. We ourselves will continue to sin and also, hopefully, confess and receive absolution through the beautiful Sacrament of Reconciliation. We can turn away from our all-powerful Lord and Savior when things get rough, or we can embrace our crosses and take the opportunity to close to Him. He that commands the wind and the sea can also calm the storms in your life.

Whatever you are tackling in life today, remember that you do have a loving father. Your Savior went to His death out of love for you. Let Him in to calm your storms.

Is your inclination to draw closer to God in times of good or in times of bad? How can you ask for closeness all the time, today?

photo credit

MaryRuth Hackett is a full-time wife and mother doing her best to teach her four children to love God and country. You can find out more about her here

No Comments

Leave a Reply