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Saturday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time
On that day, as evening drew on, Jesus said to his disciples: “Let us cross to the other side.” Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him. A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” They were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”
Opening Prayer: Heavenly Father, you have sent your son into your world out of infinite love. Your will is that he befriends me and draws me close to his Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of his mother. I am continually in awe of your work in my life, and I ask you never to cease asking me to come away with you.
- Coming Away with Jesus: As nightfall came, the disciples of Jesus must have been mentally exhausted. For hours, their master had been speaking in parables to the crowds, suggesting to everyone how they could attempt to understand the Kingdom of God. They worried about enemies that could be lurking in these crowds, and they had concerns that Jesus’ parables could be misunderstood by many. They were likely quite pleased when their master finally invited them to come away with him, and only him, on a boat across the Galilee. Jesus invites us to come away with him also. The destination is not particularly important; it is all about the company. Not only has God become man, but a man that wants to spend time with us, who wants to be in communion with us: “No longer do I call you servants… but I have called you friends” (John 15:15)
- Stormy Seas: This scene of the boat being tossed in the squall is the subject of a famous Rembrandt masterpiece. The artist depicts that moment when some of the disciples went to Jesus to implore his assistance. Other disciples are seen furiously fighting against the wind and waves, bailing out water, cowering in fear, or retching over the side of the boat. Rembrandt has painted himself into the picture along with the twelve disciples and Jesus. He looks out to me from the centerline of the boat; those to his right are furiously working, and those to his immediate left are focused on Christ. The artist seems to be asking me where I would be in this scene. This question evokes Jesus’ words to Martha when her sister was quietly sitting at Jesus’ feet as Martha served, “Mary has chosen the better part” (Lk 10:42).
- Unshaken Faith: Mark’s gospel accounts are replete with events that caused witnesses to shake their heads in amazement. At the end of today’s gospel, the disciples were in awe of the calming of the seas they had just experienced. While a sense of wonderment is understandable and admirable as we reflect on our awesome God, the preceding words of Jesus suggest that a lack of faith might contribute to our sense of constant amazement. We recall that the resurrected Christ admonished “Doubting Thomas” with these words: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (Jn 20:29). On this Saturday, as we look for a model of unwavering faith, let us recall the words of Saint Thomas Aquinas, whose memorial we celebrated yesterday: “Since the Resurrection took place on a Sunday, we keep holy this day instead of the Sabbath as did the Jews of old. However, we also sanctify Saturday in honor of the glorious Virgin Mary who remained unshaken in faith all day Saturday after the death of her Divine Son.”
Conversing with Christ: Lord, through the intercession of your Blessed Mother, grant me a steadfast faith like she showed throughout her life, even through your Passion and Death. I want to see this world through the eyes of faith, so as not to be overly concerned when trials and tribulations come my way. Give me the grace to call on you, and you alone, to calm my storms.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will pray the joyful mysteries of the rosary with a focus on the trials that our Blessed Mother was able to endure without having her faith shaken.
For Further Reflection: Read more about what Rembrandt seemed to be showing us in his painting of A Storm on the Sea of Galilee in this story from the Augustine Institute’s Tim Gray.
Andrew Rawicki and his wife, JoAnna, live in Irving, Texas, near seven of their nine grandchildren. A convert from Judaism, Andrew entered the Church in 1991 and has been a member of the Regnum Christi spiritual family since 2001. He has served as the Regnum Christi Local Director for Dallas since July of 2020.