He commands our seas and storms
Special Gospel reflection of the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B) MARK 4: 35-41
The gospel begins with the coming of evening that same day; it presupposes a new day is coming, but night must come first. Have you even been on the sea at night? It gives one the feeling that it’s you and God alone, even if there are others with you.
Let us cross to the other side: let us move beyond the confines of Galilee. The storm comes when we dare to leave our comfortable zones and go to the other side, a call to conversion.Leaving the crowd behind, a call to solitude, they took Jesus along just as he was. This line blew my mind. How often do we want to change Jesus to suit us? How often do we want to control who Jesus is, we who are on the open sea.
Jesus is sleeping, just as the farmer did in Mark 4: 27. He woke and rebuked the strong winds and the sea. In chapter 8:33 Jesus rebuked Peter and called him Satan. Is it that Jesus sees the sea as an abode of demonic monsters? In Matthew 8:31 the demons entered the pigs and the pigs went down the steep cliff and descended into the sea.
Who is this person? Jesus’ identity baffles them. That question is answered at the foot of the cross, Mark 15:39 “Surely this man was the Son of God!”. A man of divine powers, He commands the sea and storms.
He can command evil forces in this world, so there is a movement in the disciples from fear to awe; they are then called to a deeper and more profound faith. “Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom”.
What does this gospel say to us? When I read the story, I could not help but say in the words of calypsonian Gypsy “Captain, the ship is sinking; captain, the seas are rough”.
Lord, the ship of Trinidad and Tobago, a country named after the Trinity, is apparently shipwrecked, the waves of violence are crashing into our boats. We are swamped by greed and the waters of fraud. O Lord, we are drowning! We can hardly breathe; we are going to be destroyed.
We have what it takes to get out of this mess, but apparently sleeping is our watch word. Discipline, production and tolerance, all our moral values, all our Christian teachings of respect, caring and looking out for one another, the dignity of the human person and the respect for life have all seemingly fallen asleep.
Let us awaken in us the discipline we know we have, of compassion, trust, honesty and love of neighbour, and like the apostles discover with awe that these values can command the winds of violence that are threatening our very lives.
Lord, I want to thank you for persons who often call us to cross over to the other side, leaving the crowd behind so we can face Jesus with our failures and infidelity.
Thank you for those persons who are there when we are in the open sea where there is no support and who help us to recognise our frailty and our fears, and to know the awesomeness of God. I thank them for those grace moments.
Lord, I want to thank you when my family was on the sea of death, and the winds and storms of cancer were ravaging us. Lord, I thank you for a particular priest who awakened in us faith in God and called us to the love of God by giving us three simple words “faith, family and friends”.
The Gospel Meditations for June are by Sr Angilla Corraspé OP of the Gran Couva/Tabaquite Parish.