The Boat of Our Heart

In this Sunday’s Gospel, the cry of the disciples as the boat took on water, was “Master, do you not care? We are going down!”. Amazingly Jesus, not a sailor himself, was in the stern, his head on the cushion, asleep.

St Augustine, in a homily, reflects on the boat of our heart. Is Christ asleep in our heart as we endure the turmoil and battering in our life? Have we forgotten Christ? We need to wake up Christ, to remember Christ and let Christ stay awake.

In other words, Christ needs to be alive in us. We are sailing a boat in our heart and the winds and waves are battering us. We have forgotten that Christ has power over everything.

St Augustine says we need to think about Christ. Our sin is that we have forgotten who God is. We have forgotten that Christ dwells in us. We have forgotten the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus, gently and firmly says to us, ”Why are you so frightened? How is it you have no faith? Put your faith in me”.

Gerald O’Mahoney SJ, in his reflection on the passage, says

“The cushion Jesus rested his sleeping head upon was the helmsman’s cushion: the cushion, not just a cushion. We can see this as acknowledging that Jesus is the helmsman of our life. We need to trust him, listen to him and allow him to steer us through the ups and downs of life”.

Many of you are aware of St Julian of Norwich‘s most famous saying, “All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.” We should not see this saying as mere “nice words”. She heard the words in her visions of Jesus on her sickbed at the age of thirty. Jesus was reassuring her that she would not be overwhelmed. When she reflected on his visions, she said “He did not say, you will never have a rough passage, you will never be over-strained, you will never feel uncomfortable” but he did say “You will never be overcome”.

In the beginning O God,
your word subdued the chaos;
in the fulness of time
you sent Jesus, your Son,
to rebuke the forces of evil
and bring forth a new creation.
By that same power,
transform all our fear
into faith and awe in your saving presence.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son.

Canon Father Anthony
Canon Father AnthonyParish Priest