Today we honour the memory of Blessed Jane, the mother of Saint Dominic, noted for her charity and sanctity and regarded as a saint during her own lifetime by her friends and neighbours. Blessed Jane died in 1205 and was beatified in 1828. Today we ask Blessed Jane’s intercession and protection for the Church and especially for the spiritual sons and daughters of her son Saint Dominic.
The disciples struggled to row their boat across the stormy lake, straining at the oars until Our Lord appeared to them in the fourth watch—which would have been between 03:00 and 06:00 in the morning. Instead of calling out to Our Lord they kept on trying to make the crossing on their own. Then, when Our Lord did appear, they were so scared that they didn’t recognise him. Even Peter wavered in his faith and sank into the raging waters.
What a contrast when they landed at Gennesaret. The people recognised Our Lord immediately and sent out word so that others could come and see and hear him. There was excitement in the air, as many were healed by doing nothing more than touching his cloak.
Isn’t it odd that the disciples showed this lack of faith? Among all the other lessons in this story is a warning: some situations can come upon us with all the force of an unexpected and violent storm. These storms can be so powerful that we panic and we can even forget who Jesus is. Even when he is right there with us, we may not recognize him, because we are so caught up in everything else that’s going on around us.
So, how can we keep this from happening? Many of the saints recommend turning to Our Lord frequently during the day, even when everything is going along just fine. I like to have a chiming clock in the house, and every time the bell rings I say a quick prayer. As we learn how to find Our Lord in our everyday lives, we will know—almost by instinct—to look for him when the storms come.
Every day, the world tells us to be self-sufficient. And every day, the Holy Spirit wants to teach us how to fix our eyes on God. Obviously, it’s up to us to decide what to do. We can learn how to be prepared for any situation by walking with God, or we can go it alone and be at the mercy of every storm that blows our way.