No warning! It just happened. It came out of nowhere, out of the blue, as they say! A sudden downpour. I got completely drenched, soaked! Some black clouds, but you just never know when!
Apparently on the Sea of Galilee, and lakes in general, a storm can come out of nowhere with not an iota of a warning! So, it is good to be prepared and know what to do in such circumstances. To have the skills and experience in how to handle a boat.
This weekend some of our young people will ‘Be sealed with the Holy Spirit’ in the Sacrament of Confirmation. It is a wonderful moment in their lives and also for us as a Catholic Parish Community of Faith. The sacrament is all about the Holy Spirit coming into their lives through the laying on of hands, the holy anointing of Chrism and the bestowing of 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit.
A storm, be it the real thing or a metaphor for the many crises and moments of utter turmoil that we are confronted with throughout our lives, can have huge consequences and impact. Knowing how to not just survive the storm(s), but to come out the other side stronger, wiser, more human and grounded than before, that is the challenge. Ensuring that our faith is at the centre as we deal with that challenge is fundamental. To really be aware that throughout that ‘storm(s)’ that God is by our side, is present, supporting us, guiding us and hasn’t abandoned us or left us to our own devises. We need all of those 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit. But especially Knowledge – thinking about and exploring how God reveals Himself to us and in our world. Fortitude, the courage to do the right thing in the midst of turmoil and crisis. And then Fear of the Lord: the feeling of awe, amazement before God, who is all-present, and by our side no matter what and when that moment hits us.
You are not frightened because you trust, you have faith!