Jesus Does Not Promise to Calm Every Storm in Your Life
By Father John Slampak, STL

A story is told about Pope St. Pius X, that an artist wanted to do an oil portrait of him working at his desk.

After several weeks the portrait was unveiled and it was rather mediocre.

The pope went up to the portrait and wrote, “Nolite timere; ego sum.”

“Take courage, it is I.” Do not be afraid.

Jesus had just spent the entire day curing the sick.

At the end of the day Jesus told his disciples, “You give them something to eat.”

At first they complained they didn’t have enough.

Jesus told them take what they give, and everyone was fed.

Even though Jesus was overcome with grief at the horrible death of John the Baptist, he showed compassion to those in need.

Taking complete charge, Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side; he then dismissed the crowd and then he went up on the mountain to pray. He wanted to be alone.

Meanwhile, the boat holding the disciples was being tossed about.

Jesus came walking on the water toward them and they were terrified. It’s a ghost (fear of the unknown, like a dome). Words of fear: “They were terrified.” “They cried out in fear.” “They became frightened.” “Lord, save me.”

Peter, not trusting that who he saw was Jesus, put Jesus to the test: Peter called out, “If you are who you say you are, command me to come to you on the water.”

How many times have you or I done this? How many times have we asked God to prove to us that we are loved?

How many times have we prayed, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”

“God, if you do this for me then I will ... .”

You might be thinking, I don’t remember praying like that.

Yet, nearly every one of us has pledged to follow Jesus in all we say and do in many different ways and times throughout our lives: At baptism, your parents promised for you and then you promised yourself at your confirmation. Every time you pray the Our Father: “Thy will be done.” At Mass with the Creed, you promise.

Then you find out it’s not that easy; something holds you back: your old way of living the habits of sin you have to give up. The dome?

“But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened.”

Following the Lord’s voice, “no matter what,” is not a one time call. Matthew wants us to notice the storm arises when Jesus and the disciples are separated. Jesus has a habit of spending time in prayer and prays before the storm comes; as you keep your eyes on Jesus, he is looking at you — he never stops.

The storm stopped when Jesus got into the boat. That’s Christ’s word for us today:

“Take courage. It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

Jesus does not promise to calm every storm in your life.

He does promise to calm you in every storm of your life. (lift you up)