Sunday, June 21, 2009

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jb 38:1, 8-11
2 Cor 5:14-17
Mk 4:35-41

It has been a somewhat stormy year, at least in my part of the world. Ice and snow storms in the winter, wind and thunderstorms in the spring. These storms have caused a lot of trouble, loss of electrical power, damage to homes, often caused by trees that could not weather the storm. When you’ve faced a lot of storms, you tend to go one of two ways. Either you just get plain sick of them, and become leery every time the weather seems to be turning bad, or you become afraid of them, fearful that the next storm is the one that will destroy you and everything you have worked for. In the Gospel today the followers of Jesus are facing a storm at sea. As the storm grows in intensity, they grow more and more frightened. Jesus, for his part, is so calm, so unperturbed, that he is sleeping in the stern of the boat. They finally become so frightened, so certain that they are about to die, they wake Jesus up and ask him if he cares that they are about to die. Jesus, without fanfare, stops the storm, then looks at his disciples and asks, why are you afraid, do you not yet have faith? His disciples then ask each other, who is this that commands the wind and sky? He is the One who told Job I set the limits for the sea and fastened the bar of its door. He is the One who made them, made us, who set the limits of nature, who wrote the laws that govern the universe. He is the one who loves and cares for us. We live in a stormy time. We face a seemingly never ending war, an economy that is sinking like a rock, the prospect of losing one’s job, or being wiped out by market crashes or catastrophic illness. It is an uneasy time, filled with storms. It is very easy to be frightened. It seems that it only makes sense to be frightened. We can, however, survive these storms. We must strive to live a life that has the one thing the followers in the Gospel seemed to lack, faith. No, having faith will not automatically make everything better. You can have faith and still lose your job. You can have faith and still get wiped out. It would be fair of you to ask, so what will faith do for me? Faith can help you through the storms. Faith can help you face the storm, despite your fear. Faith is the one calm place in a world of storms. Faith won’t solve your problems, faith will help you face them. You are not facing the storm alone. The One who calmed the seas, the One who set its limits wants only to help you face these storms unafraid.

Deacon John
Twelfth Sunday In Ordinary Time
June 21, 2009