Memorial of St. Irenaeus, Bishop & Martyr
This gospel is one of my favorites since it demonstrates Jesus’ divinity. In the Old Testament, only God can control the water’s chaos. Look back at creation, the flood, and the parting of the Red Sea; whose power was manifested in all those situations? Was it not God? Now it is Jesus who, with but a word, commands the sea to obey, and it does. Incredible proof!
In the context of the first reading, it seems odd. The first reading is God warning Israel he will punish them for their crimes. Israel has been unfaithful and thus must suffer the consequences of their actions—something they agreed to in the covenant on Sinai. They are punished, yes, but not to destruction; God saves them and shows them his power again.
No matter the chaos of our lives, no matter how powerful or destructive it seems, Jesus, can calm the storm of our lives and heal us when we call on him. Amid our suffering, Jesus will have mercy on us, save us, and time and time again will show his power.
Reflection by Fr. Etienne Huard, OSB