Fr. Kirk

Hindsight is 20/20

And this is also true when it involves the “eyes of faith”.  A related expression is “appearances can be deceiving”.

Today’s gospel passage from Mt. 8 involves the familiar scene of the apostles crossing the Sea of Galilee at night with Jesus asleep in the boat, when a very severe storm arises. In a panic they awaken Him. He admonishes them for their little faith and then literally calms the storm.

If you have any recreational boating planned, you would probably be better advised to pay close attention to weather forecasts. If a severe thunderstorm arises, Jesus might not appear to calm it.

But thunderstorms are clearly not the only “storms” in our lives.

One way of getting a handle on today’s scene is to look BACK on the severe storms that we have ALREADY weathered. The death of a loved one? A very serious illness or accident? A severe test or challenge of our integrity that we rose to meet? A “storm” that had us saying in hindsight, “I don’t know how I survived that moment in my life.” Might it have been Jesus present at that moment, though not obviously so? Isn’t “FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND” saying this, though from the perspective of the beach and not the water?!

Another way of approaching this scene is to look BACK on a moment that seemed to be a “disaster”, but that in hindsight was clearly a BLESSING. Are there any such moments in our past?

“Appearances can be deceiving”. Anyone at the foot of the Cross must have thought that this was the horrible END of this man’s life and everything he represented. Good Friday was the appearance. Easter Sunday was the Reality.

We can seem and feel abandoned at times, just as the apostles felt in that moment of today’s gospel. Where they are concerned, we have the advantage of hindsight. We know how their story ends.

Today’s gospel invites us to use our 20/20 hindsight vis-a-vis our own journeys of faith to strengthen our trust as we face the present and future “storms” in our lives.