12th Sunday in Ordinary Time
35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, "Let us go across
to the other side."
36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them, just as he was, in the
boat. And other boats were with him.
37 And a great storm of wind arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so
that the boat was already filling.
38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him and
said to him, "Teacher, do you not care if we perish?"
39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace! Be
still!" And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
40 He said to them, "Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?"
41 and they were filled with awe, and said to one another, "Who then is
this, that even wind and sea obey him?"
- (vv. 35-37) The wind and the sea are ancient symbols of chaos and of evil
that struggle against God. The early Christian community considered the
boat a symbol of the church.
- (v. 38) The disciples have seen Jesus healed all kinds of sickness, and
drove out demons(chapters 1-3). Now that they are with him in a raging
storm, he sleeps.
They conclude that Jesus does not care for them!
A peaceful and untroubled sleep is a sign of complete trust in God (Prov
3:24, Job 11:18-19), Jesus' ability to sleep in the middle of a storm
reflects his complete confidence in God.
- (v. 39) The words which Jesus uses to address the wind and sea are the
same words he has used earlier to rebuke the demons in a man (Mk 1:25).
This suggests that in this story Jesus is also demonstrating his control
over the powers of evil.
- (v. 40) The Hebrew and Greek words which are translated to English as
"faith" are actually better translated as "personal loyalty" or
"personal commitment." Jesus reprimands the disciples for letting their
fear of death shaken their loyalty to him.
- (v. 41) Control over the sea and wind are characteristic signs of divine
Calming of a storm is also a major proof of God's loving care (Ps
One Main Point
The presence of Jesus brings peace to our hearts. To travel with Jesus is
to travel in peace even in the storms of life. Trust him at all times and
in all circumstances.
- What are the storms in my life right now? (It can be a situation or a
struggle from within).
- I am with Jesus on a raging sea. Would I stay by his side as water
fills the boat? Would I wake him up to ask for a miracle? Would I look to other gods to
calm the sea?
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A synthesis by the Vietnamese Christian Life (Dong Hanh) Community