Take Courage, Do Not Be Afraid

Today’s gospel continues the story that after the feeding of the crowd with the five loaves and two fish, Jesus continues on his journey with his disciples. He retires  in prayer and solitude in the open mountains and sea. However, there is a strong and violent storm which tosses the boat in the rough sea. The disciples are on the boat and when they see Jesus walking on the water towards them, they begin to think it is a ghost which makes them fearful. (Matthew 14:22-25).

This shows me that without God or religion, we lose our focus which makes us fearful and doubtful in times of uncertainty and trials in our lives. We might be feeling lost but Jesus speaks to us by telling us not to be afraid and that he is present in the storms in our lives. I have experienced seeing much death and sickness. I feel lost and I do not know how to help the persons involved. It is  true that sometimes we are powerless to do anything as it is beyond our control. However, I know that through faith and prayer, Jesus will make it easier for us to cope with the ups and downs. Yes, the crosses in our lives  might be  heavy but we should not give up as Peter never did stop believing in Jesus.

When Jesus approaches the disciples, he calms the storm and this shows us that by trusting him, he can help us if we have courage in our hearts . We are not to be afraid. A central character in the gospel reading  is Peter, the disciple. We are like Peter who encounter the consequences of our actions which might be impulsive or not well-thought out. Previously, Peter had cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant prior to Jesus’ crucifixion. Peter had betrayed Jesus by denying him, so when we give in to fear, that can bring us down. We have to trust God and rely on Jesus to give us strength to pull through the storms in our lives.

Knowing that Jesus can save him from drowning in the sea, Peter holds on tightly to Jesus’  hand. Jesus provides us with his saving grace to help us when we are at our wits’ end. Our failures do not mean that we are unworthy of Jesus’s help, and all the more we need to reach out for Jesus’ mercy and help to be saved. Jesus will catch us when we fall and  he gives us renewed strength to carry on against our failures, sins or temptations. Sometimes, I find the storms very overwhelming and that I am struggling but Jesus always sends people to make things better and to turn the situation around.

For me, I am able to face the storms more confidently as I know Jesus will be there for me in spite of my weaknesses or failures. Today I went to the Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea for mass. I had to attend mass as I had something on later in the evening. This is my parish and I am glad to be in the familiar surroundings again. The mission and vision of the church is, “To be a Christ-Centered family that loves and serves one another with joy and humility.”   

Having strong family support is also important to push through the storms in lives as they are our closest people and we would be in the best position to seek guidance from them also. I find hope in my family and in God who assures me  that there is always a rainbow after the storm to keep me positive and going, especially in my writing.

Looking at the church bulletin, it was also mentioned that 13th August at the church of Our Lady Star of the Sea marks the rosary devotion to our Lady, Mother Mary who  intercedes for us to her Son, Jesus. Mary is our mother and she always listens to our prayers and draws us closer to Jesus. By praying the rosary, we are able to pray for our intentions. Mother Mary is praying with us in  and interceding for us. We should not be afraid anymore as Jesus asks us to trust in him and have more faith!

God Bless!  I pray for those who are sick with illnesses that God’s saving grace and hand will heal them and give them renewed life.

Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong

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