From the desk of Fr Stephen June 20, 2021

From the desk of Fr Stephen

Today’s Gospel is a very interesting one.  The Apostles and Jesus are crossing the sea by boat.  The Lord is tired and is asleep at the front of the boat.  A violent storm comes up and the Apostles become frightened because they are still far from shore.  They wake Jesus up, and He calms the storm and chastises them for their lack of faith.  Why were they so afraid?  Let’s look a little deeper into the story.  For the ancient Jews, the sea was where the devil resided.  God was in the heavens, humans were on the earth, and the devil was in the sea.  And so, when the sea becomes violent, it was not just that they were afraid of the water; the Apostles felt the devil was causing them to die.  When Jesus rebukes the sea, he is showing his power, not just over the sea, but of the devil himself.  This particular miracle, for the Apostles, is as mighty as the curing of the sick.  With this miracle, Jesus shows he is master not just of the earth but also of the devil himself; this is quite significant in the Apostle’s lives.  This story also shows that just because Jesus is with us in our lives, there will still be storms.  All of us will have to encounter physical storms in the sky and other storms like sickness, confusion, and misunderstandings.  It is essential to know that Jesus is with us during these times just like he was with the Apostles, and he asks us not to be afraid.  If we place our total trust in the Lord, he will not fail us.  We can be confident in the fact he will be with us always.

Yesterday, June 19th, was a significant day for African Americans because it is the day we celebrate the final end of slavery in America.  On January 1, 1863, Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves, but this did not mean all the slave owners immediately freed their slaves.  It took 2 ½ years for all of the slaves to finally be set free.  On June 19, 1865, Juneteenth, as it is now known, the slaves in Texas were finally set free.  After Mass today, we will gather in the yard for some ice cream as a reminder of this great event.  The tent will be up and ice cream will be served; this will be the first official social event for the parish since COVID.  We invite you to celebrate this day with us.

As we all know, this is also the day we celebrate Father’s Day; this is another significant event for all of us.  All of us had/have a father, and it is important every year to celebrate this fact.  Some of us may not have known our father well or at all, but we can be grateful to our father and our mother, of course, for the life we now have.  As mentioned here earlier, sometimes, the storms of life can take a toll on us.  Our fathers are there to protect us during these times.  We must never take our fathers, or the gift of life, for granted.  Hopefully, this will be a day where we can show our fathers a debt of gratitude for the love they have shown us in our lives.