A Reflection on the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, June 20th, 2021
Reading I: Job 38:1, 8-11
Responsorial Psalm: 107:23-24, 25-26, 28-29, 30-31
Reading II: 2 Corinthians 5:14-17
Gospel: Mark 4:35-41
This Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time, we are presented with a compilation of readings that ring with the proclamation that God is God, and we are not. This may strike many of us in a hard and problematic way, simply because we all want to be in control. Our desire is to have control of every aspect of our lives, our actions, and our emotions. Even if that entails pushing our control onto others. Expecting others to do as we do, think as we think, and feel as we feel. We are afraid that if we are not in control then there would be complete chaos, only we know how to plan and ensure everything is the way we think it should be. We can come to intimately understand how fear drives our actions and emotions.
In the story of Job, we see that Job found that God is the ultimate one in control. We are spectators as God’s awesome voice comes to Job from out of the storm, not from out of a window or door like being called to dinner, no God’s majestic voice comes to Job reminding him that indeed God is God, and God’s voice can calm the sea and a fearful trembling heart.
Saint Paul speaks, although originally to the Corinthians, his message is meant for all of us. He tells us that through the sacrifice of Jesus we experience God’s love in a new way. God’s love motivates, persuades, urges, and obliges us to no longer live in fear, to no longer only live for the good of ourselves. We are to relinquish control and live for the one who died and rose for our sake.
The first two readings culminate with Mark’s Gospel of Jesus traveling across the Sea of Galilee with his disciples as a violent storm descends upon their boat. Incredulously the disciples wake Jesus and accuse him of not caring for their safety. Are they more troubled by the storm or by Jesus’ inattentiveness to their needs? Jesus’ reply should resound in our hearts as we hear him say, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” These same disciples have already experienced so many of Jesus’ teachings and miracles firsthand, yet they still do not trust; they do not fully want to relinquish control to the Lord.
Yes, control and fear work together to pull us away from the love of the Lord. When we face fear in our lives, like doing poorly on a test, or maybe it is something we said to someone that we wish we could take back, possibly we are facing the loss of a job or have become unemployed. It could be the fear of disease that has taken control of our body and the loss of control over our own mortality, or the grief of losing a loved one. In these situations, and the many other “Storms” in our lives, Jesus has not jumped overboard. He has been right there all along; he is present. We know him, and he knows us; all we need to do is call out to him, ask him to wake up and bring us peace and calm, trusting that he cares for us and knows what is best for us in the end.
When that feeling of being overwhelmed comes upon us, and the storms blow hard, making us feel as though we may be sinking and we feel fear welling up inside of us, cry out to Jesus with this simple prayer of St. Faustina: “Jesus, I trust in You.”
Author: Deacon Jeff Borski, Sacred Heart Catholic Church & School