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12th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Cycle B

Mark 4:35-41

"A great gale arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped." (Mark 4:37)

As evening falls, Jesus tells his disciples to take their boat to the other side of the sea. Imagine darkness covering  the sky and also the sea, accompanied by a sense of foreboding. The disciples know how risky it is to take a boat out at night, yet they obediently do as Jesus says. Weather turns against them, and trepidation turns to fear and desperation. The disciples cling to the boat and do all they can to keep it afloat, while Jesus lays asleep amidst the storm.

This scene is a striking reflection of how Jesus leads us through our own storms. We may look at the obstacles before us, the same way the disciples notice the darkening sky, and feel a sense of uneasiness. When troubles beat against us like “the waves beat into the boat,” we focus only on the situation at hand, and we wonder if Jesus is paying attention.

My thoughts were drawn to the verse that reads, “A great gale arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped.” What are the obstacles in my life that beat against my boat and even pour into it? Do I waste time uselessly trying to pour the water back out, rather than turn to Jesus who is already beside me–and has the power to stop the waves?

Realizing the futility of fighting the storm, the disciples turn to Jesus and say, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” It is both a cry for help and a cry of lament. Yet they do not realize the power that Jesus wields.  Awake, He commands the storm to cease. He did not put them needlessly at risk, knowing that He had the power to quell any storm that rose against them. 

We might face struggles that feel overwhelming, but we don’t need to worry about perishing, because Jesus is beside us and can handle our troubles.  He leads us through difficult times, not on a whim, but to bring us to a place where we can know Him better and fulfill the mission He gave us.  He implores us not to be afraid, but to turn to Him first, and have faith.



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