JUNE 20. Ord Time. B. Wk. 12. Sun. Mk.4 35-41
With the coming of evening, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Let us cross over to the other side.’ And leaving the crowd behind they took him, just as he was, in the boat; and there were other boats with him. Then it began to blow a gale and the waves were breaking into the boat so that it was almost swamped. But he was in the stern, his head on the cushion, asleep. They woke him and said to him, ‘Master, do you not care? We are going down!’ And he woke up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Quiet now! Be calm!’ And the wind dropped, and all was calm again. Then he said to them, ‘Why are you so frightened? How is it that you have no faith?’ They were filled with awe and said to one another, ‘Who can this be? Even the wind and the sea obey him.’
Today’s teaching begins with Jesus saying to his disciples; - “Let us cross over to the other side!” which involves going from one place to another. It is an invitation to leave the place where you are now and to move on!
How well that fits in with the spiritual life, with Christ seemingly never ending in his requests to “lets move from here”, but is this not the story of life. It does not stop, it does not stand still, but it involves constant movement to a place that was different to yesterday.
And what we have here in this Gospel passage is an illustration of what often happens when we “move on” in the spiritual life; - and not just the spiritual life, but also our earthly life; - we find ourselves in the middle of turmoil, with things not going “the way we want them to?”
But this is the story of life, and it matters not if you are rich or poor, healthy or sick, educated or uneducated, a man of faith or an unbeliever; - God in his wisdom has decreed we all have to endure suffering and deal with the storms of life!
Where this was determined was in the first chapter Genesis; - the first book of the Bible; - when our first parents were cast out of the Garden of Eden; - as it was then that God the Creator determined his people would have to suffer; - as a consequence of sin!
We often forget or “overlook” the simple truth our sufferings and trials on earth were caused by our own actions; - and this was not part of God’s original plan for his people; - but our “forgetting” does not change this simple truth!
And another truth we forget or “overlook” is the way God responded to our being “cast out” for our sins; - He sent us a divine Redeemer and Saviour; - a man just like us in all things except sin; - who opened the gates to heaven that were closed; - a mission that also involved suffering!
These truths are all encapsulated in today’s Gospel where Christ, our redeemer is in a boat with his disciples; - enduring a storm on rough seas, while “asleep in the boat”; - so the disciples woke him and he responded: “Why are you so frightened; - how is it that you have no faith?
The message is profoundly simple. During our time on earth, we all must endure suffering in atonement for sin; - but we need to have faith in Christ our Divine Redeemer; - whose mission was to reveal God’s Love; - which he did on Calvary; - so that when our short period of exile on this earth has ended ; - we can be reunited in a loving union with a loving God!
The only requirement is Faith in God’s Love, as revealed in Christ; - a Love that does not sleep!
Gospel Acclamation Luke 7:16
A great prophet has appeared among us;
God has visited his people.