Saturday, June 20, 2009

Deus ex Machina - 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

When you learn about story structures, you'll learn about different techniques writers use to make their stories exciting. One of these techniques is called “Deus Ex Machina”, God from the machine, from the days when theater actors were hoisted down upon the stage by a winch. Imagine the hero running away from hordes of enemies, trying to shut down a reactor before it blows up, and he only has 10 seconds! He comes to the reactor yet it requires a password. What's the password?! Panic sets in, yet at the last possible moment, a small hatch opens and on it is printed . . . the password. Well, that hatch would be the Deus ex machina of this story.

In our Gospel today, we see the apostles in the boat with Jesus, experiencing a torrential flash storm, the likes of which are all too common on the Sea of Galilee, even today. Panic sets in and they don't know how they are going to get out of this one. They don't see the end point. And through it all, we see Jesus, asleep in the back of the boat, while the storm is raging. They cry out, “Teacher, don't you care that we are perishing?!” Then Jesus rebukes the wind and waves and all is calm.

Jesus was calm – even asleep – through the whole ordeal because He knew the outcome. We also experience violent flash storms in our lives, as individuals and as the family that is the Church of which we are all members. Yet, we have been given the answers in the back of the book. God has revealed to us the victory in Jesus Christ. So we may abide in the calm and peace of Jesus even in the midst of our storms. Because of Jesus and His Presence – His Real Presence – with us, we need not let panic set in.

The primary message here is TRUST IN JESUS. Everything else points to this reality. We are called to obey the commandments of Our Lord and then trust in Him for the outcome – and we all know what the outcome will be: Victory in Jesus Christ.

So let not your hearts be troubled. Have faith in God. Have faith in Jesus Christ. Live in that calm that Jesus had while sleeping in the midst of the storm, knowing that Jesus has everything under control.

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