Saint John Bosco

Today we honour the memory of Saint John Bosco, a working class man from a working class family who shows us that even we can become saints.  John Bosco devoted his life to the education of the young and he founded the Salesians who continue his work today.  He died in 1888 and was canonised in 1934.

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We’ve just heard how Our Lord’s disciples got caught out in a storm on the Sea of Galilee.  The wind was howling, the boat was rocking and filling with water, and it was hard for the disciples to remember that Jesus was actually with them.  Desperately doing all they could to stay afloat, they finally called out in exasperation for Jesus, feeling abandoned and despondent.

How many times does the same thing happen to us?  Our lives may be sailing along quite happily, and we feel at one with the world, the universe, and everything.  Then something crops up and our peace of mind is shattered.  We all know what it would take to rock our boat.  For a while, we may be able to keep afloat, but sooner or later, we cry out in frustration and despair: “Lord, don’t you care about what’s happening to me?”

When we are put to the test, it’s only natural to feel overwhelmed by the urgency of it all.  Like the disciples, we may forget that Jesus is still with us, right there in the boat.  And yet we feel abandoned by God; we may even think he is punishing us because he allowed this storm to come into our lives.  If he really loved us, why would he be asleep, oblivious to how hard our lives have become?

But the truth is that Jesus is never unaware.  He always knows what we’re going through, and he will never abandon us.  Just because he’s in the boat with us doesn’t mean we won’t come up against any storms.  In actual fact we may find that he is closer to us in the storms than when we have calm seas.  He may or may not calm the storm, but he will always guide us and he will always help us to make the best decisions we can.

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