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12th Sunday of Year B – 2024

Our relationship with God can take on different aspects.
Today’s gospel text shows a rather astonishing element… that of questioning!

The scene is that of the apostles caught in a storm and their boat is nearly swamped by the waves (Mark 4:35-41).
Amazingly, Jesus is quietly sleeping through this situation.
His apostles come to wake him up with obvious insistence, asking him:

“Master, don’t you care if we drown?”

A question which has the tone of a challenge, and something of a reproach as well.
Jesus intervenes with power and authority over the forces of nature.
All is peaceful again – both wind and sea are now calm.

But then, Jesus is the one now questioning the apostles, saying:
“Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

Quite an amazing question in the circumstances!
Jesus had been sleeping, unaware, unconcerned, it seems, by what the apostles were faced with.
The whole episode could have turned tragic.
And he questions… their FAITH!

His friends have nothing to say in reply, but they now question… themselves about Jesus – about God.
“Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

Questioning God… Being questioned by God… Questioning ourselves about God…
This may be the slow process of getting to know God… through stormy days as well as more peaceful ones.
Daring to believe that even if he seems asleep God cannot fail to keep us safe…


Note: Another text is available on a different theme, in French, at:

Source: Image: Scripture Images

The Alphabet of Lent – Letter C

C for Calm

Daily life often brings much to upset our plans and shake us.
All that we had foreseen to do and all that suddenly comes up – this is all too much.
And apart from all the activities of the moment, there are those that we must foresee.

We feel upset, threatened, overwhelmed.
We are often tired, bitter, anxious.
We experience the feeling of being caught… in a storm.
We need so much… CALM.  

It is then that the gospel text of Mark comes to our rescue: 
“They took him along, just as he was, in the boat…
 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.   
Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion.
The disciples woke him and said to him,
“Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!”  
Then the wind died down and it was completely calm” (Mark 4:36-39).

Exactly what we need at certain periods in our lives.
And the one who calm the storm on the Sea of Galilea can do the same with all our own storms –
the storms of our fears, our regrets, our weaknesses, our guilt no matter how heavy.

The calm that he offers brings peace and serenity… a great calm, indeed!

Note: In the following video (in French), Teresa Peñafiel helps us to continue this reflection:


Source: Image: Scripture Images