Reading 1 Job 38: 1 – 11
Psalm : 107: 23 – 31
Second Reading 2: 2 Corinthians 5: 14 – 17
Gospel : Mark 4: 35 – 41.
Friends, the book of Job is one of the most profound and most challenging books in the entire
Bible. In today’s reading, we see that God does not hand-wave away Job’s suffering. Rather, the
Lord places profound hurt and heartache in an infinitely greater context—into his loving
providence. We must not narrow our focus on our pain; we must rather open ourselves to ever
greater trust. God says to Job that He has commanded the proud waves of the sea, “Only this far
you shall come and no farther”, and the proud waves stopped at the shore. This is synonymous
with Jesus stopping the stormy rain, wind, and sea in today’s Gospel. How our God the Father
always limits our sufferings. There is no part in God’s plan which says that our sufferings will be
endless or limitless. Sin brings sufferings to both the sinner and saint. The saints sacrifice
themselves for the salvation of the sinners and sinners pay the price of their sins until they repent.
Fear is a sense of agitation and anxiety caused by the presence or imminence of danger, like for
example to go on a fight to a foreign land or to appear for an interview for a job. Fear positively
speaking is an inborn quality or gift given by God to safeguard oneself and other fellow human
beings for our life-safety. It helps the person either to attack or to hide or to take precautions to
face or even to back off from situations that are dangerous and injurious to life.
Something of the fear that a storm at sea can evoke is very well captured in the way that the
disciples address Jesus, ‘Master, do you not care? We are going down!’ They could have been
forgiven for thinking that Jesus did not care because, according to the gospel, he was asleep as the
storm raged. There is a striking contrast between the relaxed demeanour of Jesus in the storm and
the great agitation of the disciples. Jesus was clearly coping with the storm better than they were.
Having been rebuked by his disciples, Jesus goes on to rebuke them, ‘Why are you so frightened?
How is it that you have no faith?’ They had been with Jesus for some time and had witnessed God
powerfully at work in and through him. That experience should have been enough to reassure
them that, in spite of the raging storm, all would be well, because Jesus was with them. He had
said to them at the beginning of their journey, ‘let us cross over to the other side.’ They should
have trusted that, with Jesus with them, they would make it to the other side, in spite of the storm
they were encountering
The church’s reputation has gone through stormy weather in recent times. Unlike the storm on the
lake, the storms the church has been battling are, to a large extent, racial discrimination,
Pandemic, the uncovering of an unmarked gravesite which contained the bodies of 215 children,
children who were students from the Indian Residential School in Kamloops, BC. Perhaps, in the
midst of these storms some of us may have been tempted to cry out with the disciples in the boat,
‘we are going down.’ We may be asking, like those disciples, where is the Lord in all of this? Like
them, we may find ourselves fearful and losing faith as the church lurches from side to side in the
One of the messages of the storm story is that the Lord remains with the church in the storm. The
Lord is present to his fearful and faithless disciples. He may rebuke us as he rebuked those
disciples in the boat. However, his presence to us in the storm is not just a rebuking presence. It is
ultimately a creative and life-giving presence. Jesus brought calm out of the chaos; he tamed the
storm and saw to it that the boat reached the other side. The Lord remains stronger than the storms
that threaten the church, whether those storms are self-inflicted or brought on by others or a
combination of both.
Like the apostles, we need to trust that Our Lord works to bring his church through the storm to a
new place where, as in their case, fear gives way to awe and their rebuking question, ‘Master, do
you not care?’ gives way to amazement, ‘Who can this be? Even the winds and sea obey him.’
This conviction (that the Lord of the church is stronger than the storm) should not make us
complacent. Yet, it keeps us hopeful and faithful, even when so much seems under threat. Today’s
responsorial psalm assures us that if we cry to the Lord in our need he will rescue us from our
distress. Our need and distress can open us up more fully to the Lord’s life-giving presence among
Saint Paul makes a wonderful statement at the beginning of that second reading, ‘the love of
Christ overwhelms us.’ Or ‘the love of Christ urges us on.’ The love of Christ for us was revealed
above all in his death on the cross. As Paul says in his letter to the Romans, ‘God proves his love
for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.’ It is that remarkable love of God in
Christ for us that urges us on, even when we are battling against a headwind. It urges us on until
we reach what the gospel calls ‘the other side’, the place towards which the Lord is guiding the
church — the place where he wants us all to be.
God is calling us also to become a new creation in Christ. Even though we are the followers of
Jesus, God allows evil things to happen in our lives for greater good and for our own
sanctification.. This is one way by which he breaks into our lives. They are God’s warning
signals and reminders, when our ife is easy and comfortable. True, God comforts the afflicted.
But he also afflicts the comfortable so that, they will turn to him in faith
No need to fear during critical challenges, because Jesus will take care of us: To have an attitude
of submission and endurance: We read that the disciples woke up Jesus from His sleep because
they did not have any hope. It was too much for them to take. Think about this – If the disciples
would not have woken up our Jesus, would He have left the disciples to drown and die? Surely
not. Before the storm could actually drown everyone Jesus would have got up on His own and
stopped the storm. Will we be able to wait until Jesus gets up on His own or will we wake Him
up? It is all in the difference in the kind of prayer we do. Do we pray, “Jesus, please give us the
strength to persevere in this storm” or “Jesus, please calm the storm”?
With Jesus in our boat, we will surely reach the other side (complete our purpose on earth):
At the beginning of this story, Jesus said, “Let us go to the other side”. Finally, Jesus and His
disciples reached the other side safely i.e. irrespective of the storm during the middle of the
journey, they completed their journey. When we are searching for a job or waiting to get married
or having a child or recovering from sickness or … whatever it may be, whenever our Jesus says,
“Let us go to the other side”, irrespective of however fierce the storm is in the middle, we will
always reach the shore finally. Let us row our boats with Jesus inside the boat!!
All Jesus wants of us is to turn to him in faith and keep him as the center of our lives. This is
what faith in him is all about. If we have this kind of faith then, we can ride out any storm in our
life an work and thereby experience inner peace amidst life’s storms. Let us be convinced we lead
a life that is completely a foreign one to the world. It is totally a new life. This is what Saint Paul
insisted in hi second reading: “Whoever is in Christ a new creation: the old things have passed
away; behold new things have come.” Therefore in any kind of environment of earthly – stormy
or cloudy, buffeting or twisting, let us be faith-filled disciples of Jesus and row the boat to reach
our destination always with, in and through Jesus.
God bless. Happy father’s day.