Saturday, June 20, 2009

Gospel for the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

From: Mark 4:35-41

The Calming of the Storm

[35] On that day, when evening had come, He (Jesus) 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?"
35-41. The episode of the calming of the storm, the memory of which must have often helped the Apostles regain their serenity in the midst of struggles and difficulties, also helps us never lose the supernatural way of looking at things: a Christian's life is like a ship: "As a vessel on the sea is exposed to a thousand dangers--pirates, quicksands, hidden rocks, tempests--so man in this life, is encompassed with perils, arising from the temptations of Hell, from the occasions of sin, from the scandals or bad counsels of men, from human respect, and, above all from the passions of corrupt nature [...]. This should not cause him to lose confidence. Rather [...] when you find yourself assaulted by a violent passion [...] take whatever steps you can to avoid the occasions [of sin] and place your reliance on God [...]: when the tempest is violent, the pilot never takes his eyes from the light which guides him to port. In like manner, we should keep our eyes always turned to God, who alone can deliver us from the many dangers to which we are exposed" (St. Augustine, "Sermon 51; for the Fourth Sunday After Epiphany).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

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