Readings: 1 Job 38:1,8-11; Psalm 106; 2 Cor. 5:14-17; Mk 4:35-41
There is a story about a fishing fleet that went out from a small harbor on the east coast of Newfoundland. In the afternoon there came a terrible storm. When night settled down, not a single vessel of the fleet had found its way back into the port. All night long, wives, mothers and children prayed to God to save their loved ones. When the morning broke, God answered their prayers. To the joy and surprise of all, the entire fleet sailed back safely into harbor. I tell this story because in the Gospel of this Sunday Jesus saves his frightened disciples from a terrible storm on the Lake of Galilee. The Gospel passage is a metaphor for our lives. We are in the boat, the storms of life are raging around us, and like the disciples, we may think that Jesus is unconcerned, or “sleeping.” When we find ourselves in such storms, we need a spiritual vision to guide us safely to harbor, so we can be the best version of ourselves. The Gospel reading also reveals the true identity of Jesus. 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 a busy ministry 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 commanded the wind and the sea, "Quiet! Be still!" The wind dropped, and all was calm again. Then Jesus took the opportunity to offer his disciples an important 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. The point of this event is that in the midst of the turbulence of our life’s journey, Christ is present. Like the disciples, when 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. Job has no reason whatsoever to doubt for God indicates to Job that He is in full control of creation. God explains to Job about the origin of the earth, the seas and the light. In the Gospel, Jesus is the revelation of God who has superiority over the seas and all creation. To his Apostles Jesus asks a question which should resonate in each one of us today because it is actually addressed to us: Why are you terrified? So what message do we take home this Sunday? 1) Like the apostles, in the turbulent storms of our lives, may we not forget that indeed Jesus is right there; all we need to do is to turn to Him in prayer of faith. 2) Christ indeed saves us from the rough seas and the storms of our life. 3) Before such a God who controls the storms and the seas, as disciples and stewards we need not doubt, that He is well able to control the storms of our lives through Christ in our midst.
©2015 John S. Mbinda