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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?”

REFLECTION: “Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus with them in the boat just as he was.”

The Gospel reminds me that life is like a boat ride. Nautical vessels have no control of completely stopping, as there are no brakes; and they are subjected to the moving waters beneath them and the changing skies above. Just like life, the navigation of boats can be unpredictable and frightening without the help of Jesus.

Today’s saint, St. David Galvan-Bermudez, seemed to have Jesus in his boat from a young age. He heard God’s call and entered the seminary at the age of fourteen. He excelled in his studies, but discerned to leave the seminary. After which, things got rough as he lived a self-indulgent lifestyle for three years. I can imagine his wake-up call came after being arrested for hitting his girl-friend when he was drunk. He did re-enter the seminary after one year probation and was ordained on May 20, 1909.

As a priest during the Mexican Revolution, he served the wounded on the battlefields and in armed street fighting. He placed himself in harm’s way, to tend to the wounded, hear confessions and administer last rites to those in need. He is quoted to say, “What greater glory is there than to die saving a soul?”

One day, he was discovered serving on the battlefield by Lieutenant Enrique Vera, who had a personal vendetta against Fr. David. Fr. David defended an unmarried lady from this married man’s advances. He immediately arrested Fr. David and sentenced him to be executed by firing squad without a trial. Fr. David heard confessions of the other prisoners before courageously facing the firing squad without a blindfold. They executed him as he pointed to his chest, on January 30, 1915. Pope John Paul II canonized him on May 21, 2000, during the Jubilee of Mexico.

St. David Galvan-Bermudez’s boat carried Jesus throughout his life. Jesus couldn’t help David during his self-indulgent years, as if he was asleep. But, when David called on Jesus for help, Jesus calmed the rough seas and set him straight on his priestly vocation. He gave St. David the courage to fearlessly live as though the seas were calm, despite crashing waves of violence and upheaval. And ultimately, he gave him the understanding of sacrificial love, to die for his faith.

May we imitate St. David Galvan-Bermudez in living our faith no matter the seas and know that Jesus is riding with us.


PAPA Foundation
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