Quieting the Storm | Deacon Reflections | Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends,

Today, we reflect on the powerful message conveyed to us in the Gospel of Mark, where we find the account of Jesus calming the storm. In this passage, we witness not only the authority of Jesus over the natural elements but also the profound lesson He imparts to His disciples, a lesson that resonates with us today. The need to have faith.

Imagine the scene: Jesus and His disciples are on a boat crossing the Sea of Galilee. Suddenly, a fierce storm arises, the wind howls, the waves crash against the boat, and panic sets in among the disciples. In their fear, they wake Jesus, crying out, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” How often do we find ourselves in the midst of life’s storms, feeling overwhelmed and afraid? We may face challenges, uncertainties, and trials that threaten to engulf us. In those moments, it’s natural to cry out to God, just as the disciples did. We question whether He sees our struggles, whether He cares about our suffering. We’ve all been there and Jesus was right there with us.

Barbara and I have dealt with many life’s storms together, I know you have as well. While I was in diaconate formation and feeling good about our life, we were hit with the big “C”, cancer. My beautiful wife who has never hurt a fly was diagnosed with breast cancer. My world was turned upside down. I was so upset and full of fear and I questioned God at the time, and realized I didn’t have the faith my wife did. She saw I was broken and I couldn’t do anything to help her. She looked at me and said “Well, this is another chapter of my story I can tell of my journey with Christ.”

Wow! I was taken aback. Here I was asking “why?”, and all I needed to trust and have faith in Him and everything would be fine according to His will: “Peace! Be Still!”. She was convicted in her faith in Jesus from the beginning, and through a lot of prayer, trust, surgeries and treatment, she is cancer free, Praise God! In this life storm I learned a huge lesson on how faith plays a major role in our lives as we follow Christ.

Like the disciples, we often allow fear to overshadow our faith. We forget that the One who calmed the storm in Galilee is the same One who walks with us through the storms of life today. In every trial and tribulation, Jesus invites us to trust in Him, to have faith that He is in control, even when everything around us seems out of control. Reflecting on the poem Footprints, it brings me peace knowing I am never alone. I hope you find comfort in these words as well.

Read the poem “Footprints”

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.

In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there were one set of footprints.

This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord, ”You promised me Lord, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there have
only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, you have not been there for me?”

The Lord replied, “The times when you have seen only one set of footprints, is when I carried you.”

Let us take heart from this Gospel and remember that no storm is too great for Jesus to handle. Let us turn to Him in faith, knowing that He hears our cries and is always ready to give peace into our lives. May we find solace in His presence and strength in His unfailing love, confident that with Jesus, we can weather any storm that comes our way.

May God bless you and keep you, now and always. Amen.

– Deacon Ray