Scripture: 1st Reading: Gen19,15-29; Resp. Psalm: Ps26,2-3,9-12; Gosp. Accl.: Ps130,5; Gospel: Mt8,23-27
A man of great faith will always do what pleases the Lord. A man of great faith will seek His face in all things. A man of great faith will keep His commandments, laws, ordinances not out of fear of punishment but on the basis of love. A man of faith will scrutinize the word of God and apply it to his life and live by it. For a man of faith, therefore, religion is not an empty profession of faith; rather, it is a way of life.
When faith, great faith is absent in the life of any person, such a person behaves as if everything goes. Such a person becomes a slave of his passions, feelings, emotions. When faith is lacking, no type of abominable action is seen as wrong. When this happens, satan takes over and such a person is swamped and drowned by the hedonistic evil forces and powers of this world.
The people of Sodom and Gomorrah believed that it was their right to do whatever they liked with their bodies. They believed that there were no universal, divine values. They believed in no divine law. Their actions suggest that they thought that the world began and ended with them. They did not believe there were universal moral standards that were acceptable.
The people of Sodom and Gomorrah practised the kind sexual union, between a man and another man and a woman and another woman, that was repugnant to the Most High God. As a result, God's anger was roused against these two cities. God sent fire and brimstones from heaven to destroy them for their actions. Only Lot and his family were saved because God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out in the midst of the destruction.
God remembered His covenant with Abraham and saved Lot's life and that of his family. This is in keeping with God's everlasting mercy and redemption that the Psalmist talks about today. He saved Lot because of Abraham's faith commitment to Him. This is the faith that our Lord talked about in today's gospel passage.
Our Lord stressed the over-riding value of faith in the incident of the great storm on the sea. The disciples were being swamped and there was the danger of them drowning. Naturally, they became terrified. But they could not remember one important reality: the presence of the Lord in their midst. In their terror, they forgot that no evil would befall them so long as the Lord was with them.
Our Lord remonstrated with them and called them "men of little faith." Our Lord then proceeded to rebuke the winds and the sea and brought back a great calm. Our Lord so exercised a great mastery over the winds and the sea that His disciples marvelled, saying: "what sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?"
Such is the power the Lord unleashes on behalf of those who have faith in Him to rescue them from all harm and distress. Let us trust in His presence today that with Him by our sides, no evil can ever overtake us. But this calls for living lives of righteousness in His sight, avoiding all actions that are evil and clinging to Him.
Let us pray: O God our loving Father, you sent your only begotten Son to redeem and save us. Bend our hearts to your will. Make us experience your presence with us. Save us from all harm. Amen.
Mat the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.