The love of Christ overwhelms us when we reflect that if one man has died for all, then all men should be dead; and the reason he died for all was so that living men should live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised to life for them.
From now onwards, therefore, we do not judge anyone by the standards of the flesh. Even if we did once know Christ in the flesh, that is not how we know him now. And for anyone who is in Christ, there is a new creation; the old creation has gone, and now the new one is here.
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our mind,
so that we can see what hope his call holds for us.
With the coming of evening, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Let us cross over to the other side.’ And leaving the crowd behind they took him, just as he was, in the boat; and there were other boats with him. Then it began to blow a gale and the waves were breaking into the boat so that it was almost swamped. But he was in the stern, his head on the cushion, asleep. They woke him and said to him, ‘Master, do you not care? We are going down!’ And he woke up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Quiet now! Be calm!’ And the wind dropped, and all was calm again. Then he said to them, ‘Why are you so frightened? How is it that you have no faith?’ They were filled with awe and said to one another, ‘Who can this be? Even the wind and the sea obey him.’
Transcript “Cross over to the Other Side” – 12th Sunday OT 2015:
Of all the images or analogies to speak of what God has done for his people, what are life in this world is about. My favorite of the themes that runs through our scripture and we hear it in all our readings today is the theme of a ship on the waters journey to the other side. We hear at the beginning of the gospel, “Let us go across to the other side.” That’s this theme I want to reflect on you on at the beginning here.First of all Whenever we hear of a ship, whenever we hear about boats, especially with the gospels but also through the preparation in the old testament with the prophets. With the story, for example, in Genesis, the story of Noah and the flood that comes and the storms that come. You should always be reminded of the salvation God has worked for his people and specially the church. The church, not obviously the wooden walls of either a boat or of a physical building, the church but the church that is his saving life raft for all of humanity. He gives his life for us, he saves us. This is the theme too, if you think where did they go from there, they went from one place to the other side. What’s that represent for us? The journey we have here in this short life on earth, a life amidst much suffering and much trials, much prosecutions outside and even within the church. But we need to trust that God will bring us safely to the other side. We hear in the Psalms, written centuries before Jesus under King David. We hear how the people are in trouble and God the father brought them out of their distress. He made the storm be still and the waves of the sea were hushed, then they were glad when it grew calm, and he brought them to their desired safe haven.This is the image I want to just reflect with you upon. And I hope this is how you see the church. First, in our lives, we can be often like the disciples. We’re Christians by our baptism, we are part of the church. If you will, we’re in the boat with Christ, with the apostles, with all the people of God. But sometimes the storms that surround us, all the different trials the temptations, the assaults that are being hurled against the church and against our lives us Christians, sometimes we can be fearful. We can feel that we’re alone and sometimes we want to, for no better way of explaining it, jump out of the boat. Okay? One writer, [Chesterton SP], talked about how as Catholics, as Christians we’re all in the boat. We’re all in this church, we’re all in the boat and we’re all seasick. Okay? So you’re not alone in that and don’t be discourage. If we were doing what the evil wanted, there would be no assault or trials or temptations. But as long as we stay in the boat with our Lord, there will be, at times, great fear and loneliness and trepidation.I remember vividly . . . I mentioned to you before, I don’t often feel the overwhelming sense of peace or the presence of God in a very profound way in prayer. It’s has happened a few times, as I said, I could count on my hands and you’re going to hear those accounts. But one time . . . I’ll just share with you a personal story. Was right after I was ordained as a deacon. After diaconate, you’re ordained a deacon and later you’re ordained a priest. But at your diaconate, it’s very serious as a seminarian, you’re lock-in, because that’s when you make that promise of obedience, yes, but at that time as a young guy, promise of celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Our life is supposed to be so configured then. To point you, however, we fail again and again. Point you to the best of our ability to remind you that our life is just about what I have here and now, but ultimately we were called for the life of heaven to come, that safe haven we long for.
But anyway, after my ordination to the diaconate and my seminary experience was always one have turmoil. I had 1,001 different ways and reasons and persons I want to leave that seminary experience for. But there’s always this burning desire to the priesthood, and I had to trust more on that. Even though, at times, I feared many things as you can imagine. As a young men, it’s hard to think, “Will I be lonely? Will i be happy in this call?” So all those different things subsided at a moment. Right after my ordination, I was privileged, i got a goal for what was called the year of the priests. And our bishop and our bishop and the Bishop Regina and some of the priests like Father Gerald, Father Pius, Father Dennis, some you’re former pastors, some Saskatoon guys joined with them. After the first week, the Saskatoon guys, the four five of us journeyed in Italy a little bit and we went to a peaceful place called Assisi. And you know Saint Francis, St Clare, they made this place famous. It’s an old ancient castle city, medieval city. In this little town in the country, we we’re praying. One evening, we walked into that the church of Santa Clara and it was this beautiful church, 900 years old. And Saint Clare was a great friend Saint Francis and founded the Poor Clares, the religious orders of the sisters.
We we’re praying and we couldn’t see them but you could hear probably 50 or 60 sisters praying the divine at the office during holy hour. And the sounds, as you close your eyes and we we’re praying vespers and Jesus, the blessed sacrament was on the altar. I had this overwhelming sense of peace that the decision i had made , that decision to be a Christian, to be with Christ, it will be okay. But it something also that kind of overcame me was the way the music, the sound, the songs where going flowing back and forth. As I close my eyes, I had this feeling of almost like being rocked gently like a boat kind of rocks on the sea or on a lake. I felt those tears come down my eyes and that Jesus says, “I’ll be with you, it’ll be okay. Trust in me.” That was one moment just to share with you. And that’s why i always so moved when I think of these image. Where a people of God in that ship of salvation were journeying from the one shore to the others to cross to the other side. It’s also . . . maybe from a human side things, it’s an image of profound trust that brings us back to that life we had even in the womb of our mother. There’s a reason why when we sleep or when we’re afraid, people, they curl up or they rock themselves, right?
There’s something peaceful in knowing that things will be okay. In this world, I think the big crisis we have for . . . I’ll just say people my age, my generation and many of us, we have a society that there really have reduced most of our life down to day-by-day, weekend-by-weekend, and there’s not a lot of great meaning being presented to young people today. We see the effects of that, we see how there’s rising of fanaticism. We see the militant Islam and you wonder why what are all these teenage boys, these girls they’re fleeing, they want to go fight in some sort of mission or cost. You see horrible shooting. This past week in the States, you see racist, a young man at 20 whatever who kills numerous people at prayer in a church, and you wonder what possesses a young person to do those things? Well, I believe that we’re called for a great purpose. We’re called to be one with God. We’re called to be saints in Heaven, and we strip that from our society, form our family, from our life, there’s a lot of despair, there’s a lot of sadness. We need to know what our true calling is. We need to know that things are okay. Despite all the turmoil we see in the world, all the crisis that go on, that we’re in that ship with our lord. And at times, we might think God must be asleep.
What the church father said about this, about Jesus asleep in this ship, is that despite of all the things that will rock the ship, Christ is firmly at peace. He is there with us. When Peter comes out from the ship, as the story goes what happens is, as long as he’s looking at Christ, he’s able to walk on those waters. But since he doubts in Christ, so as soon as he takes away his eyes away from him, begins to sink. This is the reality of our faith. We need to trust in Christ. Despite whatever may come our way, we know that it’ll be okay. Christ says to us, to our hearts, each and every time we come to the Eucharistic, when we come gathered as the church, “Peace be still. Know that I am with you, and you do not need to be afraid.” So we continue this mass, we are nurtured in this holy church. We’ve long to reach the other side, and we pray also that our mother, Mary she’s always is called, in Latin, Stella Maris the Star of the Sea. Why? Because in the old days on the ships, she used to look at the stars in the sky. And as long as you kept your eyes on the Star of the Sea, the North Star, the ships could safely get across the waters to the other side. Mary also nurtures us, cares for us and helps us always to trust in Jesus