20,000 people accompanied Pope Francis in his Sunday address and in the recitation of the Marian prayer of the Angelus

20,000 people accompanied Pope Francis in his Sunday address and in the recitation of the Marian prayer of the Angelus Photo: Vatican Media

Why does Jesus sleep during our storms? Pope Francis answers

Allocution on the occasion of the recitation of the Angelus on Sunday, June 22, 2024

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(ZENIT News / Vatican City, 06.23.2024).- About 20,000 people accompanied Pope Francis in his Sunday address and in the recitation of the Marian prayer of the Angelus, at noon on Sunday, June 22. The following are the Pope’s words translated into English:


Today the Gospel presents us with Jesus on the boat with the disciples, on Lake Tiberias. A strong storm arrives unexpectedly, and the boat is in danger of sinking. Jesus, who was asleep, wakes up, threatens the wind and everything becomes calm again (cf. Mk 4:35-41).

But really, He doesn’t wake up, they awaken Him! With great fear, it is the disciples who awaken Jesus. The evening before, it was Jesus Himself who told the disciples to get on the boat and cross the lake. They were experts, they were fishermen, and that was their living environment, but a storm could put them in difficulty. It seems that Jesus wants to put them to the test. However, He does not leave them alone; He stays with them on the boat, calm; indeed, He even sleeps. And when the storm breaks, He reassures them with His presence, He encourages them, He incites them to have more faith and accompanies them beyond the danger. But we can ask this question: why does Jesus act in this way?

To strengthen the faith of the disciples and to make them more courageous. Indeed, they – the disciples – come out of this experience more aware of the power of Jesus and His presence in their midst, and therefore stronger and readier to face obstacles, difficulties, including the fear of venturing out to proclaim the Gospel. Having overcome this trial with Him, they will know how to face many others, even to the cross and martyrdom, to bring the Gospel to all peoples.

And Jesus does likewise with us too, in particular in the Eucharist: He gathers us around Him, He gives us His Word, He nourishes with His Body and His Blood, and then He invites us to set sail, to transmit everything we have heard and to share what we have received with everyone, in everyday life, even when it is difficult. Jesus does not spare us contrarieties but, without ever abandoning us, He helps us confront them. He makes us courageous. So we too, overcoming them with His help, learn more and more to hold onto Him, to trust in His power, which goes far beyond our capacities, to overcome uncertainties and hesitations, closures and preconceptions, and He does this with courage and greatness of heart, to tell everyone that the Kingdom of Heaven is present, it is here, and that with Jesus at our side we can make it grow together, beyond all barriers.

Let us ask ourselves, then: in times of trial, can I remember the times when I have experienced, in my life, the presence and help of the Lord? Let us think about it… When a storm arrives, do I let myself be overwhelmed by the turmoil or do I cling to Him – these inner storms, no? – do I cling to Him to find calm and peace, in prayer, silence, listening to the Word, adoration and fraternal sharing of faith?

May the Virgin Mary, who welcomed God’s will with humility and courage, give us, in difficult moments, the serenity of abandonment in Him.

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