Both of today’s Mass readings speak of faith, although they present stark contrasts. The Letter to the Hebrews speaks of the faith of Abraham, who by faith “obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance….soujourned in the promised land as in a foreign country…received power to generate, even though he was past the normal age…[and] when put ot the test, offered up Isaac.” In contrast, when a storm comes upon the disciples as they “cross to the other side,” they are terrified, fearful that they will perish. When they awaken Jesus, he calms the winds and the sea and rebukes the disciples. “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?”
Awfully good questions. Why are you afraid? Do you not yet have faith? Over and over again, God shows us that He’s got our back, so to speak. Constantly, God reassures us of His presence and everlasting love. He has engraved us in the palm of His hand in a way that makes it impossible for us to be separated from Him.
For Abraham, God’s promise was enough. God promised Abraham that “through Isaac descendants shall bear your name.” Thus, says the Letter to the Hebrews, Abraham “reasoned that God was able to raise even from the dead, and he received Isaac back as a symbol.”
I think that we sometimes (perhaps even lots of the time) are more like the disciples on that boat than like Abraham. Fearful about this. Anxious about that. And there’s God, lovingly shaking His head saying, “Why are you afraid? What will it take? How can I convince you that you have nothing to be afraid of?”
What’s your answer when God puts that question to you?