Twelfth Sunday of the Year Job 38: 1 &S-1l; 2 Corinthians 5: 14-17; Mark 4: 3541
As mere mortals we
struggle to comprehend a God who is the creator of the heavens and the earth and also the God intimately concerned with the unfolding of our individual lives. In the psalmist's words: what is mortal man that God
should care for him?
This fundamental question, God's care for us, is focused
in Saint Mark's account of the disciples crossing Lake Galilee at night. Although Jesus accompanied his disciples, their faith began to waver when they were confronted with the overwhelming power of the raw elements.
"It began to blow a gale and the waves were breaking into the boat so that it was almost swamped.
But Jesus was in the stern
Faith, like the passage of a boat over calm water, is
easily maintained in good times. There are other times when life itself turns against
Bereavement, betrayal. failure, redundancy and failing health are but a few of the forces with which life can confront the fragility of our faith.
When we are no longer in control of our lives, when we face circumstances that threaten to overwhelm the hope in our hearts. we know the fear faced by the disciples in that wind-swept boat,
Al such times we feel forgotten by God. The disciples in the boat cried out with the same frustration.
"Master, do you not care'? We are going down!" The response was immediate. Jesus. awoken from his sleep, addressed the cause of their fear. " And he woke up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea: Quiet! Be calm! And the wind dropped and all was calm again."
In that moment the disciples realised that the God who slept peacefully in their boat was also the God of the heavens and the earth, the one who was obeyed even by the winds and the waves.
Al the moment they recognised his power they
also realised the timidity of their faith.
Reflection on this gospel passage can bring understanding to the inevitable crises that come to every life. Childishly we tend to think of God as the fair weather friend who will meet us on the other side of whatever troubles life may bring.
The gospel passage demonstrates the reverse. Christ was with his disciples at the heart of the storm. He slept silently in their
We will find the same
Christ hidden at the heart of all that life might bring. As Christ was hidden in the boat, so he lies hidden in our darkness, our fear and our uncertainty.
When we turn to him in prayer. he will reveal himself at the heart of the storm, giving its either the strength to endure, or a passage to calmer waters. Christ will always address the causes of our fear. He will speak to our troubled hearts as he spoke to the storm long ago. " Quiet, he calm."
As we stand in the presence of the living God, our greatest fears will lose their power.