Christ on a boat Crossing to the Other Side of the Sea of Galilee
Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee, Rembrandt, 1633, From the collection of Isabella Gardner Stuart Museum

Quo vadis? This latin phrase meaning “Where are you going?” seems very propitious at this time. We have managed to stay resilient for close to two years already. Recent prognostications of health experts indicate the possible end of the pandemic as it becomes endemic. We are witnessing the sharp crescendo of the Omicron wave. This scenario is stoking the fire that would light up hope for a brighter year once again. Therefore, we need to seriously ask ourselves, Quo Vadis?

Let Us Cross to the Other Side

Providentially, I submit that the answer may be found in the Gospel of today. In Mark 4:35-41, we read the episode wherein Christ tells his disciples, “Let us cross to the other side.” To understand the context of such, herein is the short episode of St. Mark’s gospel, as follows:

Mk 4:35–41
On that day, as evening drew on, Jesus said to his disciples: “Let us cross to the other side.” Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him. A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion.
They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” They were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”

Preparing for Life’s Journey Post Covid

Reflecting on the gospel narrative on the calming of the sea, we can highlight some key take-aways that we can apply to our present situation, namely:

  1. “Let us cross to the other side.” It is vital to keep in mind that we are embarking on a new chapter in our life’s journey post-Covid. Hence, we want to make sure that we bring with us not the “old self” but rather a “new self” – a better self, a better spouse, a better parent, more caring & sensitive to the needs of others, more diligent in work, more eager to serve society.
  2. Moreover, we leave behind the heavy baggages of the past – selfishness, biases, anger, grudges, unforgiveness, vices, weaknesses, etc.. We do this by humbly admitting to our own mistakes, weaknesses, and sinfulness in the past.
  3. Moved by remorse, we ask God for forgiveness of past misdeeds. We go for the sacrament of reconciliation in order to receive the necessary grace for enduring the difficulties and trials that may face us in the journey ahead.

Do You Not Yet Have Faith?

However, it is important to note that all the best laid plans for “crossing the other side” may falter if one would rely solely on one’s own genius or cleverness. As we all know that our human nature is susceptible to bias and self-interest, it is prone to error or miscalculations. We need to build a strong foundation that would weather the violent squalls ahead. And that foundation is Faith in Jesus Christ, the son of God the Father Almighty.

From this renewal of faith would spring forth the gift of hope, which would provide the courage and enthusiasm to forge ahead in this new journey of life.

Finally, as the road ahead is fraught with danger & uncertainties, we embark on this new journey of “crossing to the other side” with the guidance of St. Josemaria Escriva. He was a modern day saint who lived a holy life by discovering God in the ordinary duties of day to day life. Hopefully, this maxim written during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), as shown below, would serve as a good reminder that we need to hold on to our faith and remain steadfast in our resolve to “cross to the other side.”

“Why feel hurt by the unjust things people say of you? You would even be worse if God ever left you.

Keep on doing good, and shrug your shoulder.”

St. Josemaria Escriva, The Way, #45


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