Daily Gospel Reflection by Dn. Chuck McDaniels – July 4th, 2023

The Gospel according to Matthew (8:23-27) 

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?”


The story of Jesus calming the storm on the Sea of Galilee is a wonderful story indeed.  On the one hand, it’s easy to comprehend the fear on the part of the disciples (many of whom were fishermen, and knew how rough those storms could be).  They were quite reasonably fearful, for I imagine many fishermen had been lost in these sudden storms.

But, they neglected the most important truth – they weren’t in the boat alone.  They had Jesus, the Son of God, in their boat!  They reacted in a very human way to the storm, but Jesus was teaching them to react in a way that leads more toward heaven.  I’ll say two more things about that – first, it’s clear that they didn’t get that important lesson at this point in their time with Jesus.  And, the second thing?  They didn’t really get it at all as long as Jesus was with them.  It wasn’t until the Holy Spirit came to them at Pentecost that they actually “got” it.

When I look at my own life and the challenges that have come my way, how many of them were lessons that I did not really learn?  How many of those situations did I miss the fact that I had the Son of God in the boat with me?  The thing that is absolutely true is that none of us can truly learn these lessons until we recognize that Jesus is in our boat with us.  That’s a lesson that I know I will keep trying to learn, and I pray I do come to know it well.  But, even if I don’t, there is still great blessing in the learning, as long as I am open to growing more in faith, so that God is able to work even small miracles through and in me.

Action for the Day: Look for a chance today to see how Jesus is truly “in the boat” with you today.  Ask Him to give you the ability to watch for Him, learn from Him, and be His presence in all the situations you face!

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