Step #1: Lectio / Read
As Jesus got into a boat, his disciples followed him.
Suddenly a violent storm came up on the sea,
so that the boat was being swamped by waves;
but he was asleep.
They came and woke him, saying,
“Lord, save us! We are perishing!”
He said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?”
Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea,
and there was great calm.
The men were amazed and said, “What sort of man is this,
whom even the winds and the sea obey?”
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Where are we upon the seas of this world?
Some days it may seem that we are just like the Lord’s disciples as they followed Him into the boat. Calm. Assured. At peace. Other times it may seem that the waters of our lives begin raging, without warning or provocation.
How interesting it is that Saint Matthew accounts that Jesus was asleep after the troubling weather started, and not that He had fallen asleep before the storm began. Is this how we treat our relationship with Him? Do we turn to Him only when the going gets rough? If we treated our friends like this, we can’t blame them if they fall asleep once and a while when they’re with us.
Today is the Feast of Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, a bishop of the young Church from the late second and early third centuries. Saint Irenaeus wrote against some of the errors in the early Church, as a shepherd would defend against the wolves that would harm his flock. He was martyred in a time of great persecution in the Church. His final thoughts were probably similar to those of the disciples in the boat with Jesus, yet with a different disposition: “Lord, save me! I am perishing!”
Unlike the disciples in the boat at the time, Saint Irenaeus knew of the ultimate victory the Lord had accomplished via His Passion, Death, and Resurrection. “‘Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?’ Then He got up, rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was great calm.” He got up. The original Greek could be read as He rose again. The power of the earth, the winds and the sea, the power of death, all were submitted to Jesus, the Lord of Heaven and Earth by His Resurrection from the dead.
What sort of Man is this, Whom even life and death obey?
Dominus est! It is the Lord!
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
“The men were amazed and said, ‘What sort of Man is this, Whom even the winds and the sea obey?’”
How often do we wonder and have awe at the power of God?
Do we have doubts in our limited minds about the unlimited power of Almighty God Who lowered Himself to our humble state?
What then can we do with this beautiful grace of this revelation of God’s power?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
"Lord, let me not fall asleep in my life of prayer."
"Lord, rebuke the raging winds and seas of my heart."
"Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief!"
For the Rest of Your Day...
Take all the troubles, large and small, as a passing thing like a passing summer storm. Then let the heavy rains help grace and trust in the Lord's power to blossom in your soul.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Kevin Poynton.