12th Sunday in Ordinary Time B
There are two sides to this story – perhaps as with all stories – that of Jesus and that of the apostles. Jesus was tired and He went to sleep – notice the details Mark puts in – in the stern, asleep with His head on a cushion. He was woken up by the apostles and He rebuked the wind and told the sea to calm down. The He turned to them – perhaps out of frustration, not only because He’d been woken up from a sleep He obviously needed, but also because they didn’t seem to understand, to get what He was about. Why were they frightened? Where was their faith?
From the apostles’ point of view it was evening and they took Him over to the other side. Some of them were fishermen and knew the waters well. They knew sudden storms could come down from the hills and that means they also knew how bad things could get too and so they were frightened. Perhaps seeing them like that made the non-fishermen even worse!
The words of the apostles – ‘Master, do you not care? We are going down!’ – may well be the words of each of us. When disaster strikes, when there are difficulties in our lives we feel, perhaps, that Jesus doesn’t care and maybe, like the apostles, we even accuse Him of not caring!
Jesus, here near the beginning of Mark’s Gospel, is already causing a stir by what He says but also by what He does. When the apostles here see Jesus’ actions they then question who He is. So who is Jesus for each one of us? What role/ part does He play in our lives? Do we believe He is there through the storms of our lives, along with the day-to-day? When you are a follower of Jesus there’s no going round the storms, there’s only going through them! How has Jesus played a part in our lives during the pandemic? What kept and what keeps us going through those ups and downs is our strong belief that we are not alone – Jesus is making the journey with us. The storms of our life can, and will, be made to ‘be quiet’ because Jesus is the one to make all things still again. Perhaps, though, we need to remember to wake him up – we need to ask Him for help, instead of trying to do it all ourselves!
Sr. Margaret Mattison