Where is your faith?

What a great fall Humpty Dumpty had. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men could not put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

Yes, I do remember this story and I vaguely recall the image of a huge figure that came smashing down and then remained as fragments on the ground. Beyond repair.

What about this story? It is like the storms that come so quickly with no warning. No dark clouds. No thunder or lightning. Not the kind of storm that one could be sure was coming. And that is where faith must come into play – a key role.

Storms in our lives are bound to come, and when they do, how do we handle them? I would say that it is easy to talk about such a topic when it is simply a topic. When one finds oneself in a storm, it is not that easy.  Yet, there are moments that one can recall a sense of abandonment and such moments are indeed moments of grace.

Several years ago, I was in a boat with several people. I remember clearly that we were all heading towards an island that belonged to East Malaysia. Our retreat on top of a mountain in Sabah had come to an end, and we had all planned to spend a couple of days for relaxation. Besides we had guests from Africa with us.  Yes, we had three priests from Kenya.

The rains came at the time we were to board our boats to the island. It was the early part of the evening. We were all divided into different groups. With me was a family, and throughout the short but frightful sea journey, I saw the parents clinging tightly to their teenage son. They were huddled together. It was obvious that everyone was praying in their heart for  the short trip to come to an end. Praise God for what I personally experienced then. A deep sense of calm and peace. All will be well.

Eventually we landed on the island, and there we landed and looked at each other. Everyone was completely drenched, soaked to the skin.  The sea water had been splashed upon us all, and we all looked as if we had had a swim.  The best part then was to  know that we had all managed to land safely, and that we were all fine.

stormA painting done by a Japanese man who became a Catholic at the age of seventeen. Faith – what a gift!

In Holy Land, one gets a certificate after taking a boat ride in the Sea of Galilee, and of course, this brings to mind the scene in the Gospel. Jesus is tired and takes a nap.  A storm brews. The disciples on board start to feel terrified. Oh, we are going to drown! Lord, do you not care that our boat will soon sink?

Foolish people we all are. He who created heaven and earth, all that is seen and unseen, surely has total control over his creations. Yes, Jesus has calmed the seas. He has raised to life those who died. . . innumerable have been his miracles and they continue today, if we  but have eyes to see and ears to hear.

On this day I pray for strong faith, faith that will not waver. St Therese said that. Other saints have said similar things too. Our Lord will never forsake the work of his hands and certainly not those who love him in return. . . For he first loved us unfailingly, unconditionally. Amen.

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