No Storm Can Shake My …

27 Aug

Irene arrived at the beach in North Carolina today and, apparently, has been up to no good ever since. Ironically, the name of the Hurricane comes from a Greek word, Ειρήνη, meaning “peace.” Irene has not said, “Peace be with you,” to the people of North Carolina, and she does not bring peace to the hearts of those up the coast who are wondering whether she will visit them.

Is it easier for the people in the storm or for us who are away from the storm to believe that Jesus rides out every storm with us?

Our faith can be a rock or a stumbling block, depending on how we factor in suffering.

At the end of last Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus gave St. Peter a star on his report card for “active participation” and “excellent comprehension.” Jesus had asked him a question, “Who do you say that I am?” Right after Peter answered, “You are the Christ who saves us,” Jesus said to him, “And you are the rock on which I will build my Church.”

In this Sunday’s Gospel, as Jesus starts to tell him about suffering, Peter blurts out, “God forbid that you would suffer.” This could be understood to extend to him and the other disciples, “God forbid that those of us who believe in you would ever suffer.” This is where Jesus gives St. Peter a checkmark on his report card for “needs improvement,” and calls him a stumbling block.

In verse 18 St. Peter and his faith are a rock. By verse 23 he is stumbling block.

Our faith can be a rock to which we cling (and to which other can cling) or a stumbling block over which we trip (and which can trip others up). It depends on what we believe about our suffering, and what we say to others about their suffering.

3 Responses to “No Storm Can Shake My …”

  1. Chris Nunner August 27, 2011 at 7:41 pm #

    How can I keep from singing!

  2. hopevoices August 28, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

    My answer is: In the storm! When you’re in it, you feel Jesus’ presence. How many times have you or someone you know commented about someone in a crisis situation handling it so well? Or you or someone you know may have stated that if they were in that situation, they would never handle it so well. That’s because when we’re not in the situation, we think we could never handle it….but when we are in it, we can handle it because we can feel Him right there with us…and the storm doesn’t feel as bad with Him! In fact…there is joy in a storm when we have Him to hold on to!

  3. pam mahoney August 29, 2011 at 7:56 pm #

    I love this homily! All week all we heard about was the hurricane…and I was caught up worrying about where it would hit, how bad would it be, etc. I liked that Fr. Rob never gave us an absolute right answer to his question, probably because it depends on the person. I think in a crisis some of us question where God is. Other times I think the anticipation of the storm is worst than when it finally hits…or when it hits we feel the presence of God and His grace pulls us through it.

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