“On that day, as evening drew on, he said to them, 'Let us cross to the other side.' Leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him. A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, 'Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?' He 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?'" -Mark 4:35-40Do recent events in the world or in the Church have you terrified?
We see in the above scripture passage that even the apostles, those who were closest and spent the most time with Jesus, experienced fear, doubt, and terror. When it seemed that Jesus was asleep in the boat as it was being battered by the storm, He assured them that He was with them, and instantly calmed the storm.
The key to having faith in the midst of the storm is that we need to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, even when it seems as though He is asleep in the boat.
What can we as laity do to help when the storms are raging around us? My pastor gave a sage word of advice this weekend. "Be holy!" As Catholic Christians, we are all invited to the universal call to holiness that is outlined by the Church in the document Lumen Gentium. Here are just a few bullet points that I excerpted in my short review of "The Laity" section of the document:
- Live the truth in love
- Be leaven in the world
- Be 'one' in Christ Jesus
- Come not to be served but to serve
- Participate in the salvific mission of the Church
- Act charitably toward God and man
- Participate in the saving work of the Church
- Consecrate the world to God through participation in the Holy Eucharistic
- Shine forth the Gospel in your daily social and family life
- Wrestle "against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness"
- Proclaim the virtues and hope of the Kingdom of God by your personal Christian example and family life
- Perform works of great value for the evangelization of the world
- Devote energy to apostolic work
- Cooperate in the external spread and the dynamic growth of the Kingdom of Christ in the world
- Strive to acquire a more profound grasp of revealed truth, and insistently beg of God the gift of wisdom
- Assist each other to live holier lives
- Help to be a remedy for the challenging conditions of the world
- Accept in Christian obedience the decisions of our spiritual shepherds
- Pray for the Shepherds who have been placed over us
- Encourage familiar dialogue between the laity and spiritual leaders
- Stand before the world as a witness to the resurrection and life of the Lord Jesus and a symbol of the living God.
- Nourish the world with spiritual fruits
- Help the poor, the meek, and the peacemakers
- Be to the world what the soul is to the body
For more about how to live a happy and holy life, click here.
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