Fr. Kevin’s Column 6/27/21

Dear friends of God,

I neglected last weekend to thank you for the kindness that you shared with me as I celebrated my 20th anniversary as a priest forour Diocese of Saginaw. These years have been such a gift for me. I thank God from whom all blessings flow for the gift of ministry.

For my column this week, I would like to share below the homily that I preached last weekend. I know that I have had storms in my own life that I needed to remember to allow God to quiet my fears and call me to stillness. Maybe you can relate to this experience.

In Mark’s Gospel, we have Jesus rebuking the sea.

“Quiet, be still.”

The Sea of Galilee is really a lake.   It isn’t even that large. It is much smaller than our Great Lakes. You can even see across thewater. It is known for storms to come out of nowhere.

It can be a perfectly sunny and lovely day and out of nowhere comes a storm that makes it impossible to safely navigate and to seewhat is right before your eyes.

On Monday I was driving to Midland and experienced a storm just like the one there we hear about in the Gospel.

I couldn’t even see the road ahead and feared that I was navigating myself right into a ditch.

At that moment, I wished that I had the ability to rebuke the storm and quiet the thunder.

I didn’t, I just muttered along and hoped for the best with my hands on the wheel.

It is reminiscent of Psalm 46:11 “Be still and know that I am God!”

Jesus is the Lord of creation. He can even calm storms and call them to stillness.

Remember that we are a part of creation as well and there are storms in our own lives.

…God created the Human in his image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27)

God has created everything through the evolutionary process and that everything includes us.

In the book of Genesis we are reminded that God has divine authority over the chaotic waters (Genesis 1:1).

And we know from the book of Exodus that “God divided the waters to allow the people to pass from slavery to freedom.” (Exodus 14-15)

God continues to liberate us from bondage to slavery.

God calls us forth from our own fears into his wonderful light.

So often we get stuck in our fears while God is calling us to the freedom of his love.

We are always living with God in whom we live, move, and have our being.

 

We can easily forget our life in God and get trapped in our own heads with its storms and the tribulations of our own lives.

As Caryll Houselander wrote decades ago: ”There is only one cure for fear — trust in God.”

Now so often that trust is easier said than done. To trust in God is to take a leap of faith. Faith at its root is the capacity for love.

The capacity to experience God’s bounteous love and to share that love freely in return.

Thinking again of our Gospel and let us visualize the story of the calming of the sea from another vantage point.

Maybe Jesus wasn’t simply calming the chaotic waters of the sea of Galilee.

Let us imagine that Jesus is calming the turbulent reaction of those disciples and calling them to a calm mind.

“Quiet, be still.”

Maybe we can sit with those words on days when our lives seem like they are going to capsize:

During those moments, simply close your eyes and hear Jesus say to you as your fears seem to drown you in the waters ofdaily life:

 

“Quiet, be still.”

 

May God bless each of us in these beautiful summer days!

 

Much love,
Fr. Kevin