Mk 4: 35-41

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 windstorm 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?”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Jesus will be there to protect us

There are few things said as often in the Gospels as ‘do not be afraid’, but this doesn’t guarantee that nothing bad will happen. Ss. Peter and Paul would go on to gruesome martyrdoms in Rome, along with all the Apostles around the world except for St. John who may have experienced a martyrdom of loneliness on Patmos. We know that even Jesus died in a publicly humiliating way. So it appears that Jesus is not saying to not be afraid because he won’t let anything bad happen to us.

As we come out of a pandemic where millions have died, we know that we will endure the cross still. Instead, maybe Jesus is telling us not to be afraid because even when bad things do happen to us, he will be there with us to protect our souls and remind us that with the cross, there is always the resurrection.

—Alex Hale, SJ, is a Jesuit scholastic from the Midwest Province studying philosophy at Loyola University Chicago.

 

Prayer

Holy Spirit, come to us today and help us live without fear. Deliver us from evil, but even if it does occur, help us to know that there you are there with us, loving us, and suffering with us. Amen.

—Alex Hale, SJ