Today’s gospel episode follows a day of teaching by Jesus. Here he reveals himself as the powerful worker of wonders. Words and actions are the two dimensions of Jesus’ life. We imitate these two dimensions in each of our seven sacraments, for every sacrament has both actions and words. (In classic theological language we call this “matter and form.”)

For centuries the storm-tossed fisherman’s boat has been an image for our Church. Don’t we often experience ourselves as storm-tossed?

But there is Jesus, nice and comfortable, sheltered in the stern of the boat from the waves crashing over the boat, with his head on a cushion! He seems oblivious to what we are going through?

“Do you not yet have faith?” Jesus asks. Don’t we realize that to have faith is to know deep down in our hearts that someone, somewhere isn’t stupid? This realization can indeed fill us today with awe and reverence.

—Fr. Bob Braunreuther, S.J., a New England Jesuit, assists in pastoral ministry at Loyola University Chicago, and is minister of the Arrupe House Jesuit Community.