Faith is both God’s gift and our response to that gift. So God’s gift will always be adequate since God alone knows what we need even before we ask. But our response can sometimes lag behind God’s gift in adequacy. The apostles were in a boat with Jesus crossing the Sea of Galilee. A storm was tossing the boat violently and Jesus was asleep. “Help us for we are perishing,” they called out to him. They forgot he was in the boat with them. Sometimes when we experience trial or challenge or difficulty, we call out to God in anguish, but forget he is in the boat with us. Of course God desires good for us. Of course storms can be terrifying. And being terrified is a natural response to terror. Laughter and calm would not be. But when we trust that God is in control even of the things that cause terror, we can be less terrified. It might take a great deal of effort on our part, but we have to remember that Jesus is in the boat with us. How things eventually turn out might not always be evident to us. But when we are able to trust, even a raging storm will not overcome us.
The prophet Amos was calling God’s people to reject their evil ways. Prophets always seem to be doing that. And God’s people always seem to be going astray. “Israel, prepare to meet your God.” Now who wouldn’t be terrified of that? Prophets admonished God’s people because God loved his people enough to discipline them and reconcile them to himself. But that was because they already had a covenant relationship with God. So God’s prior relationship of care and respect with his people had greater potential for success. We typically are not receptive when a stranger calls us to task when we do something wrong. But when those we love and respect, who also love and respect us, point out our errors, we might be more receptive. There is a greater possibility we will recognize our error and seek reconciliation and forgiveness. So we should consider our relationship with those we are trying to correct and call away from error. It’s hard work on our part. But if our goal is reconciliation and forgiveness, it is the only way.
We offered this mass for the repose of +Jennifer Glymph.
Rolo B Castillo © 2020