Gospel Reflection: Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time – June 21
Malvern Minute

 

TWELFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

JUNE 21, 2015

Alleluia, Alleluia.

A great prophet has risen in our midst,

God has visited His people.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

 The Gospel of Saint Mark 4: 35-41

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?

The Gospel of the Lord

REFLECTION

I enjoy boating even though I have never really conquered sea sickness.   For nearly thirty years, I have fixed up used sailboats and have sailed them on the Delaware River and Delaware Bay from Bristol Pennsylvania to Cape May New Jersey. I have sailed when there was very little wind and I have been caught in thunderstorms that have rocked me and my faithful dog companion Denis from starboard to port side and back.  However, this Gospel episode is no ordinary sailing adventure.

Today’s event is the first of four miracle stories.  As with all miracles, the faith perspective is not so much on the miraculous act as it is on the one who is performing the action: Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?

Dramatically Jesus demonstrates that He shares in the power that is reserved only to the Creator.  Only God who created the heaven and the earth is master of creation; only the Almighty One can demand creation to obey His every word.  In the beginning, in conjunction with His Word, God brought about all living things, and His Word, who is the Son of God continues to sustain the order of all creation.

In the directness and with economy of words that we expect from Saint Mark’s Gospel, Jesus saves the day by three small words: Quiet! Be still!   These words of Jesus remind us of the times that He expelled demons by telling them to be quiet and be gone.  In the beginning, creation and humanity were to be in harmony acting in cooperation with each other.  It was sin that caused the two to be disunited and at odds with each other.  And so the evil discord was dispelled by the active presence of Jesus and His word!

Believers of every age have drawn great strength from this story.  It clearly teaches that even if we may think that God is asleep or inattentive to our plight, all we need do is call on Jesus.  However, our call is not to be one of doubt or panic: Why are you terrified?  Do you not yet have faith? Our call is always with confidence that Jesus Christ wants to assist us and restore us to calm!

Yet, the story has application for more than situations in which we are in extreme danger.  The story teaches us about our relationship with Christ – we are important to Christ and He wants us to grow in faith and confidence in Him.   Jesus Christ is dependable.  It is through our daily prayer that we practice and increase our confidence in God.   Jesus Christ is not asleep.  We may suspect that He is taking a nap, but the truth is that we must persist in seeking Him for we are the ones who need to become more attentive, not God, and we are the ones who need to intensify our desire for God because God always desires us!

A Blessed and Peace-filled Father’s Day to all!!!!!  My prayers for all! — JTM

WE BELIEVE, AND THEREFORE SPEAK (2 Corinthians 4:13)

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