Cristo en la tormenta en el Mar de Galilea,
Pintado por Ludolf Bakhuizen (1630-1708),
Painted in 1695 (dated on the side of the boat),
Óleo sobre lienzo
© Indianapolis Museum of Art
Las olas rompían contra el barco
With the coming of evening, Jesus said to his disciples, 'Let us cross over to the other side.' And leaving the crowd behind they took him, just as he was, in the boat; and there were other boats with him. Then it began to blow a gale and the waves were breaking into the boat so that it was almost swamped. But he was in the stern, his head on the cushion, asleep. They woke him and said to him, 'Master, do you not care? We are going down!' And he woke up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, 'Quiet now! Be calm!' And the wind dropped, and all was calm again. Then he said to them, 'Why are you so frightened? How is it that you have no faith?' They were filled with awe and said to one another, 'Who can this be? Even the wind and the sea obey him.'
Reflexión sobre la pintura
Ludolf Backhuysen was a German-born Dutch painter, active in Amsterdam. He was the leading seascape painter at the end of the 17th century. In order to paint the seas in great detail, he often went out in a boat to draw and paint there. Many of the surviving drawings he made are quite creased, torn and worn because of the weather conditions in which he would have made these whilst being on his boat. This ardent study of the seas brings this intense realism and faithful imitation of nature to his paintings. We see Jesus just after waking up, His hand still by His face. Saint Peter is holding his arm outstretched, pointing towards the stormy seas. The reflection of the boat in the sea, the moonlight hitting the waves, all make for a unique spectacle.
Storms are a test. It is during the storms of life that we discover so much about ourselves, about our friends, and about our faith too. And these storms can arise suddenly. Literally one phone call, or one doctor's visit can make us go from the peaceful shores to the stormy seas. What is beautiful in our Gospel passage today is that we see both the humanity and divinity of Jesus on full display. In His humanity we read how exhausted Jesus is from all the work He had done that day. He was even sleeping through storms. In His divinity we see His omnipotence and power over the seas and winds.
The reality of life is that we are always confronted with storms: we are either heading towards a new storm, or we are in a storm, or we are just coming out of a storm. These storms change us. Jesus is asking us to learn from our storms and always to stay close to Him... and let Him change us...
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