Gospel Reflections

12th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Mark 4:35-41

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Lorraine Tiani

Published: June 21, 2015

Read Mark 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... Read More…

“Our God is an awesome God… reigns…with wisdom, power and love.
Our God is an awesome God.”

This hymn, a favorite at our school liturgies, reflects the response of both Job and the disciples who were witnesses to the “wisdom, power and love” of our good God. The first reading for today from the Book of Job presents God’s dialogue with Job, a man struggling in soul searching to find meaning in his suffering. In the midst of his trials, Job remains faithful to the covenant, a challenge to be sure. He does not comprehend what seems like a punishment from God. All his loved ones and all his possessions have been taken from him. God uses this stormy time in Job’s life to teach him that the font of all blessings is God’s gratuitous love. God reveals himself as both Creator who sets the limits of the sea and configures the dry land (Creation account from the Book of Genesis) and as the One who saves the Chosen People, parting the waters of the sea for their safe passage as they flee from Pharaoh’s chariots (Book of Exodus). In the same way, God insists that he does not abandon Job in his suffering. Rather God remains at Job’s side. God reveals to Job that this relationship is not dependent on Job’s merits, but on God’s unconditional love. Only God’s love can restore Job’s inner peace.

The Gospel passage from Mark carries forward this theme. Exhausted after an extended period of teaching and preaching, Jesus needs some rest and quiet. He asks the disciples to take him across the Sea of Galilee in their boat. During the crossing a severe storm descends on the waters, filling the veteran fisherman with panic and fear. They shout to Jesus for help, astonished that he is asleep. They rebuke him for his seeming indifference in this life-threatening situation. Jesus commands the forces of nature with just a few words, “Quiet! Be still!” and calm returns to the waters. Jesus seizes this moment to strengthen the disciples’ faith in him. The disciples remain silent and filled with awe. In the midst of an impending disaster Jesus once again reveals himself to the disciples as the “One who saves.”

What words have you heard God speaking to your heart as you experience rough patches in your life? Or like Job and the disciples do you feel abandoned by a seemingly indifferent God? Today’s readings have been given to us to strengthen our faith and our trust in God who created us and walks with us through every experience in our lives. Jesus, having taken on our humanity, carries our sufferings as well. We are invited like St. Paul in the Second Reading who is so filled with Jesus’ message, to share this good news with others.

Give thanks to the Lord, his love is everlasting!


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