Gospel Reflection for 12th Sunday Ordinary Time Year B – June 21st 2015
Full scripture for this Sunday is available on the Catholic Ireland website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.
On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
What does it mean that Jesus is asleep. Sort of knowing what was going on even if he was mostly asleep.
We know that no religious faith works magic. What causes deep darkness in life may not go away – people’s darkness of self-esteem, long-term illness, and what causes big storms in life…but in the friendship and love of God we find we can survive and even grow through them, especially the troubles we have little control over. Even in sleep they felt his protective presence, but felt he didn’t care.
Where is the Calm?
They found calm only when they were in the middle of the storm. We will find Jesus in the middle also of our storms. We try not to hide our troubles from him. This was how Job got a bit better in the first reading (Job 38:1, 8-11) – his friends were trying to help him avoid his troubles – take a few drinks, enter a transitory relationship…all the things we do to avoid our troubles. God said to him……
We sit with him in prayer and let him know how we are, and just allow his calm come over us. We find courage and hope at the Mass and other sacraments. I remember the great peace of a young man who had left church practice for years when he received the anointing of the sick. Or the help we can get from the community of people in parish and in the church. It gives us the courage and strength to deal with what are storms in our lives.
Protect us from all anxiety as we wait*…. the gift of the gospel today is the sure presence of Jesus Christ always.
Donal Neary SJ
* from the short prayer said after the Our Father – Deliver us, Lord, from every evil, and grant us peace in our day. In your mercy keep us free from sin and protect us from all anxiety as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.