3rd Week, Saturday, Jan 30
Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19 / Mark 4:35-41
Imitate your forefathers; Be strong in faith!
Sandra Hook is a Vancouver schoolteacher. She spent the summer of 1984 working among the dying in Calcutta, India, as one of Mother Teresa’s volunteers. She tells how one day she shuddered at the thought of bathing a very sick woman.The poor thing was covered with filth and sores, and her nose was partially eaten away by bugs. Then, suddenly, Mother Teresa’s words came to her: “When you touch the poor, touch them as though you are touching the loving Jesus.” At that moment she saw the sick woman in an entirely different light, and she had no difficulty bathing her.
How difficult is it for us to see “the loving Jesus” in the needy in our midst? “Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40
Faith is a trust and commitment that express themselves in a mentality, an attitude of one’s whole life that sees beyond the appearance of things and lives accordingly, with total trust in God’s future. This kind of faith moved Abraham, the pagan, to follow an unknown God to a destiny of human insecurity. It is a faith that helps us to hold on without fear when the Church is rocked by the waves of our times. Is this our kind of faith?
Many people are afraid today. Our times are very insecure in many aspects, with wars, violence, and economic and moral crises. Life seems to move too fast for many. And the Church in its leaders and members is often upset and afraid. God seems far away, like a God who sleeps, a God who seems indifferent to our fears and incertitude. Where are our faith and hope? Let us turn to him who journeys with us and wake him up, Jesus, our Lord and brother here among us.
The name John Newton might sound familiar and ring a
bell for some of us. Well, John Newton was a slave trader in the 1700s. One
night, a violent storm tossed his slave ship about like driftwood. John Newton
panicked and he cried out to God like this: O God, if You see us safely through
this storm, I will stop all this slave-trading business and become Your slave. The
ship survived and John Newton kept his promise.
Later, as a minister of the gospel, he wrote this hymn to celebrate his conversion. The hymn is this: Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I one was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see. Like the disciples, it took a storm to let John Newton see who Jesus is. So when a storm is blowing in our lives, let us persevere in prayer and know that Jesus is opening our eyes to see His love for us.
God of power and might, when we cry to you in the tempests of life, reassure us that you care and that you are with us, even when you seem absent and silent. Let our faith remain calm and peaceful and deepen it in every trial. Keep us believing that the waves obey you and that at your command the powers of evil cannot harm us. Stay with us through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord for ever. Amen