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Do You Have Faith?

First Reading: 2 Samuel 12:1-7A, 10-17

The LORD sent Nathan to David, and when he came to him,
Nathan said: “Judge this case for me!
In a certain town there were two men, one rich, the other poor.
The rich man had flocks and herds in great numbers.
But the poor man had nothing at all
except one little ewe lamb that he had bought.
He nourished her, and she grew up with him and his children.
She shared the little food he had
and drank from his cup and slept in his bosom.
She was like a daughter to him.
Now, the rich man received a visitor,
but he would not take from his own flocks and herds
to prepare a meal for the wayfarer who had come to him.
Instead he took the poor man’s ewe lamb
and made a meal of it for his visitor.”
David grew very angry with that man and said to him:
“As the LORD lives, the man who has done this merits death!
He shall restore the ewe lamb fourfold
because he has done this and has had no pity.”

Then Nathan said to David: “You are the man!
Thus says the LORD God of Israel:
‘The sword shall never depart from your house,
because you have despised me
and have taken the wife of Uriah to be your wife.’
Thus says the LORD:
‘I will bring evil upon you out of your own house.
I will take your wives while you live to see it,
and will give them to your neighbor.
He shall lie with your wives in broad daylight.
You have done this deed in secret,
but I will bring it about in the presence of all Israel,
and with the sun looking down.’”

Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.”
Nathan answered David: “The LORD on his part has forgiven your sin:
you shall not die.
But since you have utterly spurned the LORD by this deed,
the child born to you must surely die.”
Then Nathan returned to his house.

The LORD struck the child that the wife of Uriah had borne to David,
and it became desperately ill.
David besought God for the child.
He kept a fast, retiring for the night
to lie on the ground clothed in sackcloth.
The elders of his house stood beside him
urging him to rise from the ground; but he would not,
nor would he take food with them.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 51:12-13, 14-15, 16-17

R. (12a) Create a clean heart in me, O God.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.
Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners shall return to you.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.
Free me from blood guilt, O God, my saving God;
then my tongue shall revel in your justice.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.

Gospel: Mark 4:35-41

On that day, as evening drew on, Jesus said to his disciples:
“Let us cross to the other side.”
Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus with them in the boat just as he was.
And other boats were with him.
A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat,
so that it was already filling up.
Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion.
They woke him and said to him,
“Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
He woke up,
rebuked the wind,
and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!”
The wind ceased and there was great calm.
Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified?
Do you not yet have faith?”
They were filled with great awe and said to one another,
“Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”

NAB

jan 30

Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?

The Apostles have witnessed Jesus’ miracles. They have caught glimpses of His omnipotence. They have seen Him turn water into wine. They have seen Him cure the sick and make the blind man see. They have seen Him bring back men from the dead. Yet, they still doubt.

I, too, have witnessed God’s power in my life. I’ve seen Him work wonders in events that have seemed hopeless. I’ve seen Him heal stubborn physical ailments I’ve thought I would have to live with for a lifetime. I’ve seen Him patch a rift with a friend I considered irreparable. I’ve seen Him change my broken heart to one capable of loving again. And, yet, I still doubt.

When I am in the midst of a squall, I doubt He will be able to carry me through. I feel certain I will drown in the midst of my sorrows and trials.

He could calm the sea in an instant. He could bring the waves of grief down. Why doesn’t He? I start to have my doubts whether He truly cares about me and my problems.

But in those moments where Christ seems quiet, He is not asleep. He is aware. He is mindful of my troubles. And He does care; He cares deeply. He wants to relieve all the perils that assail me. But the moment may not yet have arrived for the tempest to be calmed. I must return and recommit to my faith and hope in Him, trust that He will see me through.

In the peril of the moment, it may appear to be never-ending. But do not despair: He is with you. Trust in His providence. Trust in His love. Trust in His saving power.

Do not feel bad if your faith waivers—even the Apostles had moments of doubt—but renew your trust in Him with an Act of Hope. Know that He will carry you through the storm.

photo credit

Laurel Muff is a creator and appreciator of beautiful things. She resides with her husband and daughters in Northern California. You can find more about her here.

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