XII SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
job 38:1, 8-11; 2 corinthians 5:14-17; mark 4:35-41
monty had a tough life. polio had left him with severely handicapped limbs. through dogged determination, he got a degree and a government job. then he developed problems with his sight, and doctors discovered that his retinas were becoming detached. monty found himself facing blindness and total immobility.
we can empathise with monty’s experience. there is so much turmoil in our lives. just when we think things have quieted down, more turmoil erupts; and we wonder: «how much more can i really take?»
monty grew increasingly bitter until he noticed what was happening around him: his co-workers carolled at christmas and his neighbours held campaigns to raise funds, and an ophthalmologist volunteered his services for surgery. monty eyes were fine. he said later that he felt loved and cared for, and a deep sense of GOD’s loving care. he was in a storm but a storm in which he discovered GOD was with him.
the LORD is with us. he can and will protect us… just as he was with disciples in the boat and protected them from the storm.
in commanding the sea: «quiet! be still!» JESUS affirms his power over the forces of chaos and evil (in jewish mentality, the sea is a reminder of the primitive chaos); he shows that he is LORD. this is emphasised by the link with the first reading in which GOD affirms that he has power over the sea.
there are times GOD seems absent or oblivious to happenings in our lives (mark puts it so vividly: «JESUS was in the stern, asleep on a cushion»)! and, like the disciples, we want to cry out: «do you not care that we are perishing?»
we’d do well to recall the opening phrase of the first reading: «the LORD addressed job out of the storm». the same LORD addressed the disciples during the storm on the sea of galilee. the same LORD addresses us during our storms—within and without.
during the storms in my life, do i believe that JESUS is on board with me, and can i hear him address me?
to journey with JESUS is to journey through storms, not around them! these will disturb the peace of our galilees, but will not overcome us because the LORD is with us saying «quiet! be still!» to the storms… and to us. so then, why am i afraid??