Father’s Day | June 20, 2021
Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him,
“Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea,
“Quiet! Be still!”
The wind ceased and there was great calm.
~ Mark 4:38-39
Brothers and Sisters,
Happy Fathers’ Day! In this year of St. Joseph, what a strong example he offers to us as an example of one who discerns God’s will in prayer. Trusting in the guidance he received (even in dreams), Joseph, despite monumental challenges, was decisive in protecting and caring for Mary and Jesus. So today, as we celebrate our fathers, grandfathers, godfathers, and father figures, who offer us their support and love, let’s seek Joseph’s intercession! And to the many Fathers who protected their families amid the pandemic, thank you for your faith-filled examples.
In this weekend’s Gospel, Jesus provides an excellent illustration of the power of unwavering faith. The apostles, including some expert fishermen who practically grew up on the water, become petrified with fear as a mighty storm tosses their boat. Still, despite being in the same chaos, the disciples are shocked to see Jesus peacefully asleep.
With mastery over the winds and the waves, Jesus offers words directed as much at the apostles and us as they were to the surging waves, “Quiet! Be still!”
Stillness is key.
Perhaps Christ’s slumber exposes that the true menace isn’t life’s inevitable difficulties, but how we choose to respond. Only when we turn down the volume of our crazy and challenging world can we hear God’s voice. And realize that no matter the storms of our life, a scary diagnosis, a loss of work, a stressful family relationship, none can overwhelm our Lord, nothing.
Admittedly, I relate well to these apostles—the challenges and storms brought by this past year are prime examples. Whether it was the tough decisions made by the Archdiocese that ultimately put the well-being of our parishioners and community first or witnessing those who lost loved ones or those who continue to worry and care for others still experiencing severe illnesses, 2020 served up storms of epic proportions. Of course, both high winds and crashing waves can be destructive, but at times, maybe the storms we allow to churn within us present the most danger. And in those overwhelming circumstances, we need to reach out to the Lord, who calls us to silence and stillness in prayer and trust in Him.
Now, as the high and rocky seas of 2020 recede, let’s take a moment to thank God for his steadfast presence and recognize the signs of new life and beginnings among us. I have been reluctant and weary at times, fearful of placing parishioners at risk. Moving forward, though, all of us – priests, staff, and parishioners – need to work to build a culture of welcome and belonging, with a renewed commitment to restoring community and friendships which ultimately strengthen each other in faith. In this next phase, let’s rely upon each other, trusting that each of us has one another’s best interests at heart, making safe and prudent decisions for ourselves and our families. We all need to be comfortable in our Church home, whether masked or unmasked, resuming closer seating in pews or maintaining a physical distance. Let us commit to respecting approaches and decisions that we make – and emphasize the JOY and opportunity to worship together, being fed by our Lord.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.
Rev. Michael S. Triplett