How can we handle situations that we haven't decided on or that upset us?
Today, openness to the unexpected is drastically resisted: summer vacations are planned in January, the children’s school is chosen long ahead of time, and babies are weighed and measured before they’re even born. Vaccinated, oriented, geolocated, networked, connected—nothing and no one escapes our will to control.
The achievements of technology have augmented these abilities in us, and when the unexpected occurs, we feeldisappointed. If a child is born with a disability not detected in the ultrasound scans, the parents see their trust in the medical profession crumble.
Let us be wary of this “will for omnipotence” that places the weight of our lives on our own shoulders. What pride to imagine even for a moment that we are at the control panel of our own existence! On the spiritual plane, it implies that we have relegated God to a minimal expression. We would gain so much peace, however, by returning Divine Providence to its rightful place, as the origin and goal of all life.
Make an act of faith in God by accepting that you will not understand everything
God needs us to make room for Him, to desire Him, in order to respond. In his Lenten message of 2014, Pope Francis invited us to accept our poverty as a place of God’s power: “If we feel that we do not need God, who reaches out to us through Christ, because we think we are self-sufficient, we are setting ourselves up for failure.” We need to get out of our comfort zone and take the risk of letting Christ sustain us. And show our children that we accept the unexpected with confidence, in the strength of our certainty that “all is grace.”
In a commentary on the Gospel, Father Raniero Cantalamessa compared our lives to those of the apostles caught in the storm: if we have not brought Christ into our boat, we are lost. Just as James and John challenged God, saying, “Master, don’t you care that we are drowning?” we often receive the mishaps of our lives as injustices. To the terrified apostles, the Lord responded, “Why are you afraid? Don’t you have faith?” Let us make an act of faith in God by accepting that we do not immediately understand everything. Let us have confidence in “this One, that even the wind and the sea obey.”
Like the disciples in the Gospel of Mark, let us take Jesus in with us in the boat of our lives. To count on Christ is to keep faith in Him who can do everything. His strength will allow us to face all storms, to fight all the hurricanes and, with Him, to reach shore. And let us not forget the words that Pope Francis pronounced in January 2014: “Trust in the Lord: this is the key to success in life (…), and you will never be disappointed. Never, ever!”