4 July 2017
They were afraid they would lose everything. The skies were black, the winds were strong, and the boat was getting tossed about, and covered over with the high waves. They were completely helpless; all they could do was “go with the flow,” and the flow didn’t look that good. And so, as we would expect, they were afraid—they were terrified they would lose everything that was important to them, including their own lives.
When we’re faced with the reality of loss—whether that’s the loss of mobility or health, the loss of friendships, or the loss that comes with death—when we’re confronted with the reality of loss, our first instinct is to be afraid, or to become angry or frustrated, or just simply feel depressed. We don’t like to lose things which are meaningful and life-giving to us. And that’s correct.
St. Thomas Aquinas recognized that we humans fundamentally strive for whatever is good, and we avoid whatever is evil. And so, we usually think of a loss as a negative, as something to be avoided. But there in the gospel today, with his disciples getting tossed around by the winds and the stormy sea, Jesus says essentially, “Don’t worry about it, oh you of little faith.” Don’t get so caught up in avoiding evil that you forget to enjoy the good.
As we celebrate today our country’s independence, it’s good to renew our faith in God, to ask him for the grace to be free from our fears and, instead, to be free to enjoy life, whatever comes our way. May we live with freedom of spirit and faith, thanking God for his blessings, and enjoying the goodness that comes from him, now and into eternity.