Memorial of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church
On that day, as evening drew on, he said to them, "Let us cross to the other side." Leaving the crowd, they took him 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?"
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe that you are in my boat. I want a stronger faith in you. I trust that you will lead me, sinful though I am, to your good harbor. I love you for always accompanying me in this life.
Petition: Lord, help me to grow in faith.
1. Crossing to the Other Side: We know that we will not remain on earth forever. There is another shore that is our home. Christ has come to remind us of this and show us how to get to that place. Do I take Christ into my boat and let him indicate what I must do in my life? Or do I hold myself back, not accepting the adventure of putting out into the deep with Christ? What is it that holds me back?
2. Teacher, We Are Perishing! Christ allows our boat to be tossed by difficulties that sometimes seem insurmountable. Having him in our boat is not a guarantee that things will go smoothly. We need to discover that he is working in the midst of difficulties. We need to ask what he is teaching us. If in the midst of trials we are drawing closer to him, there can be a real grace working. Yet many times we find that we let our confidence in him slip when things get rough. We have not yet learned that "all things work together for good for those who love God" (Romans 8:28).
3. The Lord of the Wind and the Sea: We need to keep in mind that Christ has the ultimate victory. He allows difficulties so that we can grow in abandoning ourselves to him. When life hurts and it makes no sense, we need to deepen our faith in the One who has conquered sin and death. He will write the final chapter in our life. He will bring us to the safe harbor. We can bolster our faith in him today by keeping our eyes on his promises and his presence. We can renew our confidence that he will not let our prayers go unanswered but will respond in his time with a power and efficacy beyond what we expect. In continuing to sail this boat in the midst of the storm, we are giving him the total control over our destiny. We can be in no safer hands.
Conversation with Christ: Lord, I know that when you allow difficulties in my life you are trying to strengthen my faith and make me see that I need to turn to you. Help me take advantage of these difficulties so I might abandon myself more totally to you. I want to learn to trust you as the Lord of my life. Bring me to safe harbor.
Resolution: I will analyze one of the greater difficulties in my life and see where I need to apply greater trust in God.