Sunday, June 21, 2015

Do You Have Faith?

By Beth DeCristofaro

The Lord addressed Job out of the storm and said: Who shut within doors the sea, when it burst forth from the womb; when I made the clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling bands? (Job 38:1, 8-9)

(Jesus) woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?”

Jesus, Brother and Lord, reveal to me my misconception that I am director of my life. Help me to appreciate and accept that by joining you on your way to the cross you will make me into your mover and shaker, moved by you to shake this world and shaped by you to build your Kingdom.

What happened to Job was pretty awful and it sure wasn’t fair! God addresses Job in today’s passage with language that is absolute, startlingly beautiful and also personal. The Divine Creator speaks of storm, sea, darkness which to us are essential elements in nature and also serve as iconic symbols of eternity and uncontrollable power. To God, however, they are as infants, delivered from God’s own eternal body and protectively, lovingly swathed like a mother wraps her vulnerable baby. God set all creation in motion including and nourishing his beloved humankind. And all, storm, sea, darkness, living creatures are at His beck and call: (Jesus) woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!”
We, like Job, are not really the movers and shakers of our own lives. God set limits on the sea on Job and also on you and me. Our earthly influence is so very ephemeral. Jesus’ embrace of full humanness and his acceptance of suffering unto death have made us movers and shakers within God’s kingdom, should we accept His invitation. Richard Rohr in from Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi states: “The Crucified revealed to the world that the real power that changes people and the world is an inner authority that comes from people who have lost, let go, and are re-found on a new level”. … Rohr uses the example of St. Francis and St. Claire saying “They let go of all fear of suffering; all need for power, prestige and possessions; any need for their small self to be important; and came to know something essential--who they really were in God and thus who they really were.”
Job understood that he was very weak yet prized by God who reminds him that suffering and limitation is part of God’s creatures. The disciples pondered “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?” Can we also accept that God loves us and find in a unity with Jesus, broken and poured out? He is poured out for us even when loved ones die as did Job’s children. Jesus was broken on the cross to save us from final, eternal death even as we lose ourselves to addiction or hold stifling jobs. He stills the waves in our lives by navigating our boat right with us.

When have I perceived Jesus standing powerfully and serenely amid the crashing surf swamping my boat? He will give me that faith. God doesn’t need me but God wants me, He wants us. Give thanks for God’s abundant mercy.  

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