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“On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, ‘Let us go across to the other side.’  And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great gale arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped.  But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ 

He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?’ And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?’” (Mk 4 : 35-41)

On the event with some natural bases (storms of Lake Tiberias are blazing!), Marc shot a valuable teaching on Jesus' identity. In his person, God is with supreme power. The disciples are called to reposition their faith.

“We must have faith like that of the apostles and disciples of Christ, who scorned the world to follow Christ (Mt 19: 27); a faith like that which made the holy martyrs stronger than death” (Marion Bresillac, Faith, Hope, Charity, p. 61)

“Of all the unpleasant incidents that take place in our life, there is a certain number of them that can turn to be source of lesson for the rest of our human existence. This confirm therefore the old adage that says: "Every cloud has a silver lining". In fact, the terrifying experience of the apostles in the middle of the sea does not make an exception of this empirical reality. It took the apostles to experience fear in face of the storm while in the boat in the middle of the sea in order to come to know the identity of Jesus, they have been following for a while. They have seen Jesus, their master, sleep during the crossing to the other side of the sea. He has slept because he was tired of a long day of preaching. Like any other human being who has feelings, Jesus felt tired and had the need to boost himself with a refreshing sleep. After waking up the apostles saw him calm both the storm and the sea. They discover henceforth his divine nature. It took the storm to terrify the apostles for them to know that Jesus is "true man and true God"; an undeniable truth of our profession of faith. We can therefore say that whatever God does is good. For St Augustin, talking about the apostles upon discovering the double nature of Jesus, affirms: "They have known the man, they believe the God in him."
As missionary priest in love of pastoral work, or of the ministry of formator, or of any position of ministerial leadership, sometimes unpleasant incidents generating fear, anguish, distress or discouragement take place in our lives. Like the apostles who faced the disturbing storm of their life, the boat of our lives is also subjected to every form of violent and terrifying waves. But during these moments of existential and religious turbulences, we can take our troubles patiently so as to discern the message these events can convey for the benefit of our life. This discernment can only be possible through faith. A faith that searches firmly, discovers patiently and recognises piously the saving presence of our Lord Jesus Christ. In all trials of our life, we must always exercise faith and trust in our Lord Jesus Christ who remains our "Emmanuel, God with us" every time and everywhere despise the violent treats of our life. No matter what terrifies us, let us always remember that Jesus has conquered the world. With him through faith we are also conquerors. "Take heart I have overcome the world" he tells us (Jn 16: 33).
Question: Our Lord Jesus Christ allows himself to be discovered. Are we willing to discover him in pleasant as well as unpleasant circumstances of our life?”.

N° 8 October 2016
Jules Materne Adator,
SMA In charge of SMA Preparatory Seminary,
Winneba, Ghana