January 28, 2023 –
St. Thomas Aquinas
“‘Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?’”
Is today’s lesson not to wake Jesus? The miracle in today’s Gospel passage seems to be Jesus rebuking the wind and sea, resulting in “great calm”. However, it’s not only the wind and sea that Jesus rebukes. Perhaps more important is Jesus’ rebuke of His disciples.
Jesus chooses not to calm the disturbance in His disciples’ souls in the same manner that He calms the sea and wind. But He does challenge them: “Do you not yet have faith?” His rebuke of the elements and of His disciples seems to have a meritorious effect on them. “They were filled with awe” at His power over the elements. But is this the faith He demanded of them?
It’s only natural to be impressed at the power of nature, and of God’s power over nature. It’s something supernatural, however, to allow God to have power over oneself. This is the sort of faith Jesus is asking for from His disciples. Faith is a gift freely given, but it’s also a gift that must be freely accepted. Jesus will not calm our souls without our consent, or rather, our faith in His power to do so. The disciples marvel at Jesus as one “whom even wind and sea obey”. Even more marvelous, however, is a disciple who obeys Jesus as His Lord.