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  • Christopher Looby

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time B

There once was a Scottish sea captain who skippered a boat taking tourists to the Shetland Islands off the coast of Scotland. The sea separating the mainland and the islands was very unpredictable. Sometimes the waters could be smooth and other days they would be rough and choppy.

That’s why, before every trip he would always say a prayer. He would pray thanking God for the calm waters and the courage and strength he would need to attend to the ship if the waters should get rough and choppy.

On one trip the boat was full of teenagers. They were American students on a class trip. They laughed at the old captain when they saw him saying his prayer before setting out, because the day was fine and the sea was actually calm.

However, they weren't at sea too long when a storm suddenly blew up, and the boat began to shift up and down and on the waves.

The terrified kids came to the captain and asked him to join them in prayer. But he replied, 'I say my prayers when it's calm. When it's rough, I attend to my ship.”

There is a lesson here for us. If we cannot or will not seek God in the quiet moments of our lives, we are not likely to find him when trouble strikes. We are more likely to panic. But if we have learned to seek him and to trust him in the quiet moments, then most certainly we will find him when the going gets rough.

Life can be compared to a voyage. Though each of us has to pilot our own little boats, the life of a Christian is not meant to be a solo voyage. We journey with our fellow Christians, and so we are able to support one another in times of difficulty.

We also make our journey through life with Jesus always travelling beside us.

Some people think that if God was with them, and if he really cared about them, then no storm would ever hit them. Life would be all plain sailing. So, when a storm does come, they immediately think that God has abandoned them. Faith here means not so much belief in God as trust in God.

But today's Gospel story shows that God is always on our side through thick and thin. He shares in our joys when life is calm and he gives us the courage to face the storms that life throw at us…often without a warning.

Faith here means not so much belief in God as trust in God.

As we sit here in the safe and calm confines of this church today let us pray that Jesus will fill our hearts with courage and strength now so that we are able to attend to our ships when life gets rough and choppy!

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