Memorial of Saint John Bosco
Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19
That’s a simple word, but wow is it a difficult definition. My thesaurus has many synonyms listed for "faith," such as belief, conviction, trust, dependence, confidence, hope, optimism… but one word has me really thunderstruck.
Miriam-Webster defines Buoyancy as "the ability of an object to float on water or air" and "the ability of someone to continue to be happy, strong, etc., through difficult times."
I can’t believe I’ve never thought of faith as being something that would help me rise above adversity. But it’s true! Through confidence in God, people who hear and respond to His call will be transformed. The challenge, though, is remaining sure in our belief when tragedy strikes in our lives.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus calls us to new life, saying "Let us cross to the other side." He’s asking us to "leave the crowd" behind and walk with him. Think of that… we’re not left alone because he wants us to journey with him. He doesn’t promise an easy road… "A violent squall came up," and in the tumult of the horrible moments we all are faced with, we become terrified. But in that terror, we pray and call on him for help, and he wakes up and says "Quiet! Be still!"
With faith, can we float on air? Can we be truly peaceful in the midst of The Storm? If you’re like me, you’ll find that nearly impossible! I believe, oh yes I believe… but it’s so easy to become terrified at the waves crashing over the bow of my boat. But in that darkest hour, there are times when I hear God say to me "Paul, shhhhh… Be still. I’m here." And if I quiet myself and trust God’s guidance, I’m gifted with His most amazing peace in my heart.
What is it that God is calling us to today? What are we being asked to leave behind as we "cross to the other side" with Jesus? Will we be safe through the journey? Will we know truly The Peace that the world cannot give?
If we let Jesus lead our walk, you bet your britches we will.
Dear God of The Call, thank you for inviting us to new life with you. Please grant us the grace to face all our challenges with the profound assurance of your presence, and infect our spirits with your incredible love and peace.
Paul Puccinelli is Director of Liturgy & Music at St. Rita Parish in Sierra Madre, CA, and a member of the Retreat-Team at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center.