The Storm Makes Us New | Word from the Shepherd No. 134 | 12th Sunday of Ordinary Time B

12th Sunday of Ordinary Time Year B
Job3:1,8-11; 2 Cor.5:14-17; Mk 4:35-41

A happily married Catholic, with growing up children and who was running a thriving business, was overcome by a cloud of heaviness. It filled him with anxieties and fear. Suddenly he was overwhelmed with waves of thoughts – thoughts of the pandemic and lockdowns, the bleak economy and the failing business, the money matters and providing for the children’s future, and the depleting reserves and facing the imminent old age. The more he delved on them, the bigger the storm appeared to be. Panic had seized him. Fear had overpowered him. He remembered only these questions racing through his mind: “Where is God in all of this? Why is God letting this happen? Why is God asleep?” In that instant, everything became calm. A deep peace filled him. Tears flowed. He felt a love that he had never experienced before. There were no magic lights, no divine voices and no miracles to shout about. No storm, no loss and no death mattered at all. He knew God was still
in-charge of this universe.

What does scripture teach us today?

  1. We have storms to face.
    Job was going through his storm of life. He was looking for answers to the chaos that he was going through. He had lost his good life and everything and everyone he loved. This was his personal and inner storm.
    The disciples in the boat, an image of a community or church, which was being led across the Sea of Galilee by Jesus, encountered turbulence and flooding. They had lost their cool, their faith and their focus. The storm upset them and at the same time, made them lose sight of the Lord, and His guiding Word.
  2. We encounter God at the heart of the storm.
    From the heart of the tempest, the Lord spoke, connecting Job to the Creation account of scripture that he was familiar with, and to the God who created, controlled and limited the power of the forces of nature.
    Here, God’s revealing Word quietened Job’s internal storm.
    The gospel reading introduces us to the Lord who was asleep in their midst, who awoke, rebuked and calmed the winds and the waves.
    Jesus was the Lord of the elements, the tempest and the community of disciples’ journey.
    He sent them across;
    He journeyed with them;
    He was there in their turbulent phase;
    He saved and strengthened them to reach the other side.
    During these life-threatening moments, the Lord’s abiding presence of love disarms all fear. He takes over.
  3. We discover our true strength in the storm.
    Besides, realising one’s lack of faith and focus and being chastised by God, they discovered who God was and what trusting God meant.
    They discovered that God was still in-charge, and that all is well.
    Strangely, the crises we go through, have the power to evoke the love from within us and God’s love. Paul reminded the Corinthians about the love that overwhelms.
    It appears that every storm or crisis or disaster, is a grace moment for all of us, to grasp the death of Christ, the reason He died for us, knowing and living for Christ in the now as new creation.
    It is no more going back into the past but living in the now as new creations. We come out of any storm as new persons, with new strengths and new understandings.

“Storms draw something out of us, that calm seas don’t “ (Bill Hybels)

Word from the Shepherd, Issue No. 134