June 21: Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B
Readings: 1 Job 38:1,8-11; Psalm 106; 2 Cor. 5:14-17; Mk 4:35-41
Those who live around coastal areas know what it feels like when caught up in a storm at sea or on the lake. The Gospel of this Sunday proclaims the mystery of Christ in our midst as one who controls the winds and the storms. The Gospel passage takes us a step further, to realize that Christ is indeed the Lord of rough seas and the storms of our life. When we find ourselves in such storms, we need a spiritual vision in order to reach the shore safely. In the Gospel reading from St. Mark, the disciples discover this mystery of Christ and his power over natural disaster. In the calming of the storm, Mark brings out clearly both the humanity and divinity of Jesus, as well as the humanity of the disciples. Although the disciples had been accustomed to rough waters, this time the sudden storm gave them a terrible fright. Jesus was fast asleep, tired from the long hours of preaching during the day. For a moment they completely forgot Jesus was with them, and in panic, they feared they would all sink in the waves. In their fear they cried to Jesus for help.
Jesus calmly commanded the wind and the sea, "Quiet! Be still!" And the wind dropped, and all was calm again. At this point Jesus took the opportunity to offer his disciples an impor¬tant catechesis: challenging their lack of faith and lack of awareness of who he really was, namely God, the Lord of all creation, including the storms. In the midst of the turbulence of our lives, Christ is present, and when, like the disciples, we are so frightened, he asks us: "why are you terrified?" Sometimes we may wonder why bad things happen to us or even to good innocent persons. God does not cause evil, but He permits it in order to teach us the mystery of his presence in our lives; in order to strengthen our faith and trust in Him. We have only to turn to God in faith for God is always in control. In the first reading from the book of Job, God reveals himself to Job as the one who controls the storms and the seas; the one who made the clouds. In this passage, God proclaims His superiority over the seas and all powers and the final victory is His. Then Job has no reason whatsoever to experience doubts. At the same time God indicated to Job that He is in full control of creation. God explains to Job of the origin of the earth, the seas and the light. To his Apostles Jesus asks a question which should resonate in each one of us present here today because it is actually addressed to each one of us: Why are you terrified? What is the message? 1) Like the apostles, in the turbulent storms of our lives, we tend to forget that indeed Jesus is right there, and all we need to do is to turn to Him in faith; 2) Christ is indeed the Lord of the rough seas and the storms of our life; 3) Before such a God who controls the storms and the seas, we need not doubt, that He is well able to control the storms of our lives through Christ in our midst.
©2009 John M. Mbinda