Mark 4: 35-41
Late that day he said to them, “Let’s go across to the other side.” They took him in the boat as he was. Other boats came along. A huge storm came up. Waves poured into the boat, threatening to sink it. And Jesus was in the stern, head on a pillow, sleeping! They roused him, saying, “Teacher, is it nothing to you that we’re going down?”
Awake now, he told the wind to pipe down and said to the sea, “Quiet! Settle down!”
The wind ran out of breath; the sea became smooth as glass. Jesus reprimanded the disciples: “Why are you such cowards? Don’t you have any faith at all?”
They were in absolute awe, staggered. “Who is this, anyway?” they asked. “Wind and sea at his beck and call!”
Life as a fisherman at sea, perhaps more than in other occupations, must lead I think to a deep appreciation of the fragility and uncertainty of existence, and must develop a strong sense of the dependency of daily living on the forces of nature and the mercy of God. Certainly the occupation requires courage in the face of danger and the unknown, fortitude, persistence and independence, as well as physical and mental stamina. Trust is also required – trust in God to protect and guide their endeavours; and trust in each other, because each individual’s economic and physical well-being depends on the joint actions and team work of all others aboard. I wonder if Christ chose so many fishermen for his apostles to establish and build his Kingdom because of these inherent characteristics. For these qualities came to be essential traits in the early Christians, and through these strengths and the power of the Holy Spirit the community of the early church blossomed out of firm foundations.
At the close of the gospel passage Christ gently rebukes the disciples for their failure to have complete trust in Him. Let’s pray that we might grow stronger in both the characteristics shown by the disciple-fishermen and in our faith in Christ.
Then we too can build a community rooted in trust in each other and in Christ, and bring His message of salvation to others through the witness of our lives.