Heb 11:1-2, 8-19; Lk 1:69-75; Mk 4:35-41
Israel is the special possession of the LORD. Throughout history the LORD, the God of Israel, has been there for his chosen people to rescue, restore, and redeem his Beloved. Again and again the LORD has raised up a mighty savior, born of the house of his servant David. The LORD declared that King David was a man after God’s own heart, and even after David was unfaithful, the LORD continued to be faithful to David. Many holy prophets proclaimed the promise of the LORD that he would save us from the hands of our enemies, from all who hate us. Who would dare to hate those loved by the LORD? Indeed, the LORD promised to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant. Our father in faith, Abraham, heard the word of summons from the mouth of the LORD, and he left his ancestral homeland to be given a new land, flowing with milk and honey. Through the priest-king Melchisedek, our father Abraham offered the sacrifice of bread and wine to celebrate his liberation from the hands of his enemies. Indeed, he was free to worship the One True God without fear. Indeed, he was free to be holy and righteous in his sight all the days of his life. This is the freedom to which the Galatians were summoned by the preaching of Saint Paul; a freedom they seemed to so quickly reject. Indeed, the Lord Jesus promises freedom from all fear, because our Father in heaven provides the Holy Spirit whenever we ask him. Indeed, the LORD fulfills his promise in this Liturgy. Again and again the Father shows us his mercy, and fills us with the Holy Spirit, even as we receive the Body and Blood of Christ.
This text from the Letter to the Hebrews gives us an insight to the virtues of faith and hope. Faith is the realization of what is hoped for; faith makes present to us that for which we hope. It is the evidence we need to put our trust in that we cannot yet see. In the life of heaven we will not need faith or hope because we will see immediately; reality will be seen with our eyes that have been transformed in a body that is glorified. Our sight no longer needs faith to see or hope to trust. We see directly and we trust immediately. Like our father in faith, Abraham, we need faith to obey. Without faith we cannot make the journey from now to eternity. We cannot believe in the love that the LORD God Almighty has for us. We cannot sojourn in the Promised Land. We cannot expect to live in the holy city where justice and peace are a way of life. By faith we are able to be tested, we are willing to offer that which is the most pure and secure sign of God’s promise to us. In faith we are able to be detached from any and every sign of God’s faithfulness to us. Through faith we are able to be attached to God’s will alone in every situation throughout our lives. We who believe in Christ the crucified and risen Lord are able to live and move and have our being in the truth and love of God. Indeed, we live in the freedom of the Children of God and enjoy forever the promise fulfilled.
It seems that the disciples are so lost in the storms all around them and deep within them. They have seen the crowds embrace the Lord Jesus, and they have witnessed the leaders completely reject him. “Who then is this whom even the wind and sea obey?” This question arises from their journey with the Lord Jesus across the sea. The have already witnessed his power over of the demon of epilepsy, his power to heal a crippled hand even when it was dangerous to do so, his ability to release us from the power of sin that paralyzes us. Yet, they seem so startled that he even has power over the demon of the storm. The Lord Jesus woke up from his slumber, his rest in the Father’s love, to say to the storm: “Quiet! Be still!” King David and every sinner after him have to approach the LORD in repentance and trust in his power to save. The Disciples had to approach the Lord Jesus in honest fear and trust in his power to save them. What do we need to say to the LORD? Are we repentant? Are we afraid of the storms that swirl around us or within us? He is near. He is with us in the bark of the church. We have nothing to fear. We need not be afraid of waking him up at most he’ll have a question or two for us. Indeed, the kind of question we need to hear on every journey we take.