When Pope Francis visited the Philippines, a small 12 year old street girl, Glyselle Iris Palomar, wept as she sadly asked the Pope, “Why does God allow children to suffer so much? Children like her were abandoned and have become victims of drugs or prostitution.
The Pope was so moved by her question that, with teary eyes, he replied, “those on the margins cry, those who have fallen by the wayside cry, those who are discarded cry, but those living a life without need, don’t know how to cry.” It is only when we learn to cry with the suffering that we can begin to understand and love them. In tears, when we cry, we are drawn closer to God.
As we go through the sea of trouble, chaos and disorder, thoughts of this nature would lead us to say, “My Lord, are we to drown for all you care?” Or even say, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” In His sleep, Jesus was seen by His disciples as unconcerned, as a Savior who is distant from us and unperturbed by the tragedies and harsh realities of life. These negativities could easily adversely affect or even negate and destroy our faith.
After Jesus was awaken, the first thing He did was rebuke the wind and command the sea: “Quite! Be still!” (Mk 4:39) As quickly as the storm came, it ceased in an instant.
God always determines the course of our own sea of life because He holds our destiny in the palm of His hand. As humans with limited understanding, we only see the smaller picture, not the bigger realm of His great plan for us.
In the gospel, Jesus shows the disciples, as He also does for us, that He is sovereign to all, mighty even against the forces of nature.
Then, Jesus turned to His disciples and questioned their faith. “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” (Mk 440) The reason Jesus questioned their faith was because the disciples feared the power of the storm more than they feared the power of God in Jesus. So when Jesus calmed the storm, He did so because He wanted His disciples to see something about Him that they hadn’t quite seen yet. It was the unveiling to them of the true identity of Jesus as God, a mighty savior and a sovereign God.
What the disciples needed to see and we need to understand is that God was in the same boat with them. In our most serious predicament, affliction or oppression, He is there with us also. Our God identifies Himself with the plight of humanity and demonstrates His power to overcome even the greatest of dangers. What seems impossible to us is possible to God, if we call upon Him.
So the question is, does He care? The answer is a clear yes, absolutely and without a doubt. He asks us to go forward with His courage, His strength, to be steadfast in our faith in Him in the midst of the storm. He wants us to remain close to Him, giving us the awareness of our great need for Him as a Savior. When He sends His command to the raging water, “Quite! Be still!” in effect, we are being asked to slow down, to calm our spirit, to be silent, and enjoy, in meditation, His awesome presence in our lives. Jesus then allows us to feel and taste the stillness and the calming serenity of His peace.