Tuesday, June 28, 2011

‘Why are you afraid?’

today's Gospel


I always wonder what Jesus means when he says to his disciples ‘Why are you afraid, you of little faith?’ There is a storm & the boat is in danger of sinking; a little trepidation is not to be wondered at. But Jesus seems to be telling them that if they had faith, they would not be afraid. But faith in what exactly? Does he mean that if they had faith in him they would know that they wouldn't die? But we will all die, eventually. In fact, Jesus told his followers that they would face suffering and death. To misquote Woody Allen, we don't achieve immortality by not dying. Quite the opposite, in fact. As Christians we believe that to die in this life is to reborn to eternal life. Which makes me think that this is what Jesus means. Don't be afraid. You will die. If not today, then some other time. But death is not something to be afraid of. Have faith. Remember what I've told you. Remember what you have seen. If you really have faith, then you have nothing to fear. Because you know death is not the end.

Of course, having said 'why are you afraid?' he then calms the storm. To show them they can have faith in what he says. So that they can know what he promises is true. And so that we can know it too.

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