June 15, 2021
The Constitutions of the Congregation of the Resurrection demand faith from its members, when it states, “By our vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, we dedicate and consecrate ourselves totally to the Risen Christ in the religious life. This dedication entails an act of faith whereby we respond to God’s call to give ourselves completely with all our talents, abilities, and powers to him, to the church, and to the Congregation” (article #13).
Whether religious, clerics, lay people—or even the disciples—we all find it difficult in some situations to have faith, to trust totally in God. Like the disciples in the boat, we can, at times, feel completely overwhelmed and think that Jesus, who promised to be with us always until the end of the age, has deserted us.
That was certainly the case for the disciples in the gospel today, and it was certainly the case for the early church Christians in Mark’s community. In fact, Mark’s community had undergone a terrible persecution under Nero in 66 A.D. and it looked as though another persecution was looming. One of the early images for the church is the boat and we could imagine that small church community of Mark thinking that chaos was about to be unleashed upon them again. It was as if the church is being tossed in the storms of the times. Like the disciples in the boat, those in Mark’s community are crying out, wondering if the Risen Christ cares about them. But, just as Jesus spoke these words to the disciples, the Risen Christ continues to speak these words to Mark’s community in the midst of its chaos: “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?”
Like the disciples and the early Christians in Mark’s community, we too can feel overwhelmed and afraid. But precisely in these situations of difficulty and despair, the words of the Risen Christ continue to speak to us, reminding us that there is nothing that can ever come between us and the love of God in Christ Jesus.