June 20 Reflection

As a non-swimmer, I can verify the fear that deep-water whipped by storm winds is very real. It is almost contradictory that a storm on the Sea of Galilee, which was notorious for its
storms, would strike fear in the hearts of experience-hardened fishermen. But evidently, it did.
We learn that a water-swamped fishing boat easily frightened this chosen crew. It is delightfully ironic that the only Carpenter on the boat
would be so unconcerned as to fall asleep. It was a deep sleep, of the kind visited on people with clear consciences like the Lord’s. We know for sure that it took a hearty shoulder shake to wake Jesus up. Only to get scolded for His apparent nonchalance. “Don’t you care that we are perishing?”
We don’t have to imagine what Jesus asked them after He ended the storm. Instead, Mark gives it to us. “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?”

Amid this seemingly endless “storm” of the Covid pandemic and all the other “storms” that test our tranquility, Jesus could well ask us the same question, right? As grateful as we should be for the various vaccines, we must believe they are not enough for us and many people to block the “winds of anxiety.” The saddest of all reactions has come from many young people who have ended their “Covid fatigue” with suicide. They crossed off futures just like that. Akin to the lost futures of the millions of aborted babies.

We have to bestir our baptismal faith and all its promises. Only the Man who was asleep on the boat can put an end to these and other evils.

Acknowledging today’s arrival of the second Father’s Day in a row with masked faces and sanitizers still in place, there is a special place of honor for all our fathers. They are the family leaders. Families are the bedrock of the worldwide family of the Church. We know the traditional family is un- der new and varied attack by segments of our society today. A good, strong, faith-filled Catholic father is a strong antidote to this cultural poison for his spouse and children. Such men have Jesus as their divine support and the Church alongside.

As we combine the story of Our Lord’s power over storms and His enduring example, with thoughts about the power of a present day good father’s example, we can ponder this observation by Clarence Budington Kelland (d.1964), who was an American writer of fiction and short stories and who once described himself as “the best second rate writer in America.” I think his praise of his father is first-rate. This is what he wrote: “My father didn’t tell me how to live. He lived and let me watch him do it.”

God love you and give you His peace.