THEME: JESUS IS IN CONTROL OF THE STORMS OF OUR LIVES
READINGS: Job 38:1, 8-11 / Ps. 107: 23-31 / 2 Cor. 5:14-17 / Mark 4:35-41
12th Sunday in Ordinary Time
According to the first reading, ‘the Lord addressed Job out of the STORM’ (Job 38:1). The responsorial psalm also expresses God’s control over the storm. It reads: the Lord ‘hushed the STORM to a gentle breeze’ (Ps. 107:29). Similarly in the gospel reading, Jesus calmed the STORM (Mark 4:39). Figuratively, we can see many things in our lives as storms. Difficulties or problems can be seen as storms of our lives. They have destructive force. Some may occur suddenly, while others can be predicted. However, often we cannot stop them from happening. This notwithstanding, there is good news: Jesus Christ has power and authority over these storms!
Today, the first reading offers us Job as a man who experienced destructive storms in his life. According to Job 1, Job was both righteous and very rich. But then the storms (hurricanes) started when Satan began to strike: in a single day, he lost the 500 oxen and 500 donkeys plus the herdsmen; 7,000 sheep plus the shepherds; 3,000 camels plus the servants; as well as all his sons and daughters.
When Job had received the bad news of all these violent storms of life, he fell to the ground and worshipped God saying: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, naked shall I go. Yahweh gave, Yahweh has taken away: Blessed be his name’ (Job 1:20-21).
As if the storms Job had experienced were not enough, Satan afflicted him with sores all over his body (Job 2:7-8). In the midst of such devastating storms, Job needed the closest person in his life to console him; rather the wife added another storm by tempting him to curse God. She said: ‘Do you still hold on to your integrity? Curse God and die!’ (Job 2:9-10).
Job, however, trusted in God and remained faithful to him. Eventually, God calmed all the storms in Job’s life and blessed him twice as much as he had before: 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 oxen, and 1,000 donkeys. He also regained his health, and he was blessed with seven sons and daughters; and he lived long, dying at 140 years of age.
In the gospel reading, the disciples with Jesus in the boat also faced a storm (Mark 4:35-41).
He who panics in a situation is not in control, but he who remains calm has control of the situation: he either has power to deal with the situation or to escape the disaster. So, Jesus’ calm sleep on the cushion shows he had the power to deal with the storm. And this he truly demonstrated when he spoke to the stormy wind, ‘be calm!’ and it obeyed him. Thus with Jesus in the boat of our life, we can also smile at the storm of our life!
To the frightened disciples Jesus said: ‘why are you terrified? Why are you lacking faith?’ Beloved, if you are facing any storm in your life, turn to the Lord in faith and don’t be terrified. Remember faith in God was Job’s anchor in the midst of the storms.
Your storm could be an accident, bad business, unemployment, an injustice, no marriage partner, marital problems, no child, disobedient child, spiritual attacks, failure in exams, or something else. Whatever your storm is, or series of storms (cf. Job) are, don’t be terrified or overwhelmed. Let your faith be your anchor in the Lord of storms. Amen!
By Very Rev. Fr. John Louis