12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

First reading: Jb. 38:1,8–11

The Lord addressed Job out of the storm and said: “Who shut within doors the sea, when it burst forth from the womb; when I made the clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling bands? When I set limits for it and fastened the bar of its door, and said: Thus far shall you come but no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stilled!”

Second reading: 2 Cor. 5:14–17

Brothers and sisters: The love of Christ impels us, once we have come to the conviction that one died for all; therefore, all have died. He indeed died for all, so that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. Consequently, from now on we regard no one according to the flesh; even if we once knew Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know him so no longer. So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.

Gospel: Mk. 4:35–41

On that day, as evening drew on, Jesus said to his disciples: “Let us cross to the other side.” Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him. A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet!  Be still!” The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” They were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”

In other words

by Fr. Edwin Fernandez, SVD (Divine Word College of Urdaneta, Urdaneta, Pangasinan)

It was October of 2016 when we had a terrifying experience of super typhoon Lawin. Though our SVD community house in Laoag City was solidly built, it was seriously threatened by the strong winds. I remember well how an alarming noise on the roof of the house kept on intensifying. The winds seemed to lift the roof and carry it away. Overwhelmed with fear, I fell on my knees and begged the Lord to have mercy on us and save us.

Even when the disciples were with Jesus in a boat, they were not spared from going through a life-threatening experience. What was more difficult for them to understand was that, in the face of such a violent storm, their Master was sleeping.

He seemed not to care that they would perish because he would not rise from sleep to save them. So they woke him up and poured out their disappointment: “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” They did not realize, however, that their faith in Jesus was being put to a big test, and obviously, they failed the test. The great lesson they had to learn from that experience was to have complete trust in Jesus at all times and in all circumstances, even when he was sleeping. For as long as he was with them, they could overcome all obstacles. With his words, Jesus calmed the wind and the sea. These immediately obeyed him, and this greatly awed his disciples. With two questions, Jesus challenges us, his disciples, to examine our faith as we will surely meet trials in the sea of life: “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?”

In her poem entitled Living on Love, Saint Therese of the Child Jesus wrote: “Living on love, when Jesus is sleeping, is rest on stormy seas. Oh! Lord, don’t fear that I’ll wake you. I’m waiting in peace for Heaven’s shore… Faith will soon tear its veil. My hope is to see you one day. Charity swells and pushes my sail: I live on Love!” May the love of Christ impel us to trust fully in him and to live completely for him.

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