JMJT! Praise be Jesus Christ! Now and Forever!
In the past month, I have attended three funerals, one wedding, three birthday parties, and a clothing ceremony for a sister beginning her Novitiate with the Carmelite Missionary Sisters of St. Therese. Talk about events of contrast...Some of these happenings were planned, and others were quite a shock. And yet, it all points to the undeniable fact that life is dynamic and continually evolving. Whether it is unfolding right now according to our carefully laid out plans and endeavors like a cruise ship that pulls into port for its next scheduled visit, or we are holding on white-knuckled to the mast while the boat is thrown adrift amidst the tumultuous waves of an unexpected storm, the world is indeed turning and time continues to slip by and bring us ever closer to eternity.
This might seem depressing to some, but for those with faith this is a blessed reminder that this is not our permanent dwelling place, but instead a pilgrimage that is unfolding before us. At the clothing ceremony of the young 19 year old young lady who is committing to further discernment concerning her vocation as a religious sister, she chose the nautical theme to represent her journey. She had symbols placed before the altar at her Mass such as a helm of a boat, and a small model ship. Her quote was by St. Therese of Lisieux which wisely stated, "The World is thy ship and not thy home."
Indeed. When we think of Scripture and the theme of boats and water, I think of when Jesus calms the sea. We are told that Jesus instigated this trip by inviting his disciples to cross to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. They followed his lead and set out. We are told that Jesus falls asleep 'in the stern on a cushion', and a great squall endangers the entire boat. "So they woke Him and said, “Teacher,don’t You care that we are perishing?” 39Then Jesus got up and rebuked the wind and the sea. “Silence!” He commanded. “Be still!” And the wind died down, and it was perfectly calm.…" [Mark 4:38-39] In the account told in the Gospel of Luke, the disciples are awestruck and wonder aloud who this might be, who even the elements of the earth obey.