Saturday, July 9, 2011

Master, Don't You Care if We Drown?

Rembrandt's Storm on the-Sea of Galilee

35 On that day, as evening drew on, he said to them, “Let us cross to the other side.”
36 Leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him.
37 A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up.
38 Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
39 He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind ceased and there was great calm.
40 Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?”
(Mark 4:35-40)

One thing which seems to be growing again in the anti-Bishop hysteria in certain segments of the Church is the belief that the Church is falling away into corruption because the Pope, the Curia, the Bishop or the Pastor is doing something the individual dislikes or is failing to do something the individual would prefer to be done.

We see the dissenting priest or nun or politician speaking or acting in a way which is clearly contrary to the teaching of the Church and we panic.  We accuse our leaders of corruption and ask God why He does not do anything to save His Church.  Some have, throughout history, jumped ship believing she is being steered into shipwreck.  Others behave as if God has forgotten us.

Christ's question to His disciples is the same question for us.  "Do we not yet have faith?"

Do we not yet realize that Christ promised to remain with His Church?  Do we not yet realize that Christ promised the gates of Hell would not prevail against it?  Are we so without faith that we think that the ship as she exists is sinking and will be destroyed?

Yes, some clergy, some religious and some laity will fail to do as they ought, doing harm and causing scandal.  Yes we are called to preach the word and correct those in error (lovingly of course) and to pray for those who have fallen astray.  However, the Church is in the hands of Christ who has promised to protect us.  At the moment of his choosing, he will rebuke the wind and the sea, he will rebuke the disobedient and the heretical and the persecutor.

We must never act as if we have nothing to do but lounge around and wait on Christ.  He has given us our task to carry out (Matt 24:46) and we need to keep at it for when he returns.

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