Storm and Faith

June 21, 2015 | HNMWebmaster | Comfort, Courage, Faith, Father Salvador, Homilies, Hope, Ordinary Time, Prayer, St. Mark, Strength, Trust

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 21, 2015 – Year B

Readings: Jb 38:1, 8-11 / Psalm 107 / 2 Cor 5:14-17 / Mk 4:35-41
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor

At some time in the past, some of us have experienced a storm while at sea, at the lake, or even while driving. For many of us, especially those who travel quite often, the closest experience that we may have is turbulence on a plane. During that time, it is a big relief when someone gives us assurance that everything will be fine.

For all of us who are old enough to have experienced life’s ups and downs, we have undergone some form of trial that has shaken us up. It could be an illness or the death of a loved one. It could be a stressful situation in the place that we work, a problem that is causing hate and discontent in our families, or even a friend who continues to be a thorn in our side. We could go on and on, but one thing is certain. We all have experienced, or are presently experiencing, storms in our lives: physical, emotional, psychological, or even spiritual. Just like the Lord’s disciples in today’s gospel, we must have also felt that our loving God was somehow sleeping or not concerned with what is going on in our lives.

Today’s gospel is taken from chapter four of the Gospel of Mark. “As evening drew on, the Lord Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Let us go and cross to the other side of the lake’.” The Lord must have been so tired from doing His ministry all day. He went around curing the sick, driving out evil spirits, raising the dead back to life, and preaching the good news. He is God; but, at the same time, He is a human being like us. He is flesh and blood and, just like everyone else, He eats, drinks, and gets tired. He must have been so tired that He fell asleep on the boat.

A strong wind blew up and the waves were breaking over the boat, as St. Mark described. A squall or a storm is something that is not unusual in Lake Galilee—it happens quite often. Peter was there with his brother Andrew, and James and John, the sons of Zebedee. These men were master fishermen, except Matthew who was a tax collector. Peter, who was the head of the group, gave Matthew the assurance that while he may not be good with taxes and money, he knows Lake Galilee. “I have been here in this experience before, and I surely know what I am doing.”

Apparently though, whatever they were doing was not working. In the back of Peter’s mind, and the rest of the fishermen there, they felt that there wasn’t any need to wake up The Lord. They may have thought, “He might be good in curing the sick, driving out demons, and even raising the dead back to life, but let’s remember; He is a carpenter and we are the fishermen. We are in the middle of the lake—this is our world. He will not be able to help us here.”

Out of desperation, they woke Jesus up, not because he could do something about the waves, but because they knew that He is their Lord and teacher and, they wanted assurance that, if they died, they would be in heaven.
As we heard in today’s gospel, the Lord stood up and commanded the wind to be quiet and the waves to be still. The wind died down and there was great calm. He said to His disciples, “Why are you frightened? Do you not have faith?”

Now, we are in chapter four of the gospel of Mark. St. Mark is a very short gospel; it has only sixteen chapters. In the first three chapters, we have already read the story of St. Mark. Our Lord was already going around performing miracles cleaning lepers, driving out demons, and teaching the people the good news. The disciples must have already felt His power. That is why The Lord must be telling them, “You still don’t get it, do you? You still don’t know Me”.

We are all here at Holy Name of Mary because God has given us the gift of faith, or we have been invited here. It is part of God’s plan that we are here this morning. Just like the Lord’s disciples, we must have seen the Lord, directly or indirectly, working in our lives, or in the lives of others; but, as human as we are, we forget. We forget that the Lord is God, and that He is in control of our lives and everything around us. Jesus, who commanded the wind to be quiet and the waves to be still, has promised that He will be with us always until the end of time. Jesus is in our midst right now as we celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass – whose body, blood, soul, and divinity we will receive in Holy Communion.

Jesus dwells in each and every one of us because we are temples of the Holy Spirit.
In times of trouble, the Lord Jesus wants us to have faith in Him. He commands the waves and winds of our troubles to be quiet and still. Our Lord is not only able to do this, but He will continue to do it, because as it says in the letter to the Hebrews, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever”.

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