12th Sunday in O T Year B – 2015
Job 8:1, 8-11; 2Cor 5:14-17; Mk 4:35-41
A little boy of five was left alone once with his father at bedtime. It had never happened before. After a lot of fun and play the father finally got the little fellow into his night clothes, and was about to lift him into bed when the child said, “But Daddy, I have to say my prayers.” He knelt down beside his bed, joined his hands, raised his eyes to heaven and prayed:
“Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep; That was his usual prayer, but tonight he looked up at his dad, then raised his eyes to heaven and prayed, Dear God, make me a great big good man like my daddy. Amen.”
In a moment he was in bed and in five minutes asleep. And then the father knelt by his son’s bedside and prayed, “Dear God, make me a great big good man like my son thinks I am.” Every dad is the first hero for his son. Happy Father’s Day to all who are fathers or grandfathers or stepfathers!
Five weeks ago, we observed Mother’s Day and offered Mass for our moms. Today, on this Father’s Day, we are doing the same – offering our dads, living or dead, on the altar of God during this Holy Mass and invoking our Heavenly Father’s blessings on them.
The role of God in calming the storms of life both in the history of the Church and in the lives of Christians is the central theme of the readings for this Storm Sunday. The first reading tells us how Lord speaks to Job whose life was devastated by storms of illness, the deaths of his dear ones and the total loss of his possessions.
“Out of the storm,” God reminds Job that He is in control. The second reading explains that Jesus died for us to make us a “new creation.” In order to receive this gift, we have to respond to his love by living for him in all situations of our lives. In other words, Paul celebrates the saving significance of Jesus’ life, death and Resurrection and of our participation in the mystery.
Today’s Gospel describes how, by a commanding word, Jesus stilled a storm on the Sea of Galilee, returned the sea to its natural order and saved his followers from drowning. The incident reminds us to keep Jesus in our life’s boat and to seek his help in the storms of life.
There are so many storms break into our lives and even God permits them to enter as our warnings and reminders. One reason is to wake us up because when our life is easy and comfortable we do not go to Him and talk to Him and respond to His will. The trouble with us is that we tend to call on God only when everything seems hopeless and says: “I guess all we can do now is pray.”
God is the last One to know about our predicaments. When will we learn to really trust and surrender everything to God? There are things that we should know and reflect when the storms of life come in our way.
First is, let us make God as top priority. Let us make God as number one person in our lives. Even God permits storms or tragedy to happen. He breaks into our lives even by means of these apparent evils for the reason that I have given you awhile ago.
It is because we lack attitude of a real faith, an attitude of trust by which we turn to God at all times and not only during the time when we need Him so much. We should not wait until a violent wind blow. God should be our top priority and the first person to know if storms of life strike us.
Second, God does not abandon us in times of troubles or storms of life. We often receive abundance in our lives like: money, material possessions, friends, good family and good work and great teaching. Yet when stress or tragedy or storms enters into our lives, we may find ourselves thinking God has abandoned us or unfaithful to us.
I’m sure many of us have pet dog in our homes. But what does this pet dog really know about us? This pet dog knows that we feed him and pat him on the head that we walk with him and let him bark to protect us. But he has no idea that we can talk and read and write or we know how to solve mathematical problems and we know how to operate a computer.
There are hundred things about us which our pet dog do not know and imagine. But we owe him a credit if he is doing the best any pet dog can do. What he knows is correct as far as it goes. But we are much, much more than what he thinks we are.
It is the same way between God and us. We have a small idea of a big God as mere human beings. The little we know is probably correct as far as it goes. But God is much, much more than we can ever imagine.
Now just because we know so little about God, it is foolish and injustice to criticize what He does to us. We are like that pet dog barking at the moon to scare it away. We see Him do that and we laugh understandingly. Similarly God laughs at us for getting upset because we cannot understand why He does the things He does.
We make plans and God turns them upside down. People get sick and die, meet accidents and get hurt. And we, little nothings, get angry at God for all that. When earthquakes, floods and disasters strike, we again get angry with God and blame Him.
It is not strange that whenever anything negative happens, we always blame God for it somehow. When we lose something, we blame God. But when we find 1,000 bucks, God gets no credit. If our farm produces good crops, we think it is because we are such great farmers. But who sent the sunshine and the rain at the right time?
They were most necessary and they did not come from us! They are coming from God and God gets no credit. We try to play like God but always remember, let us trust Him because He does not abandon us. God does not abandon us. What we should do is trust in Him all times because He is in control of everything.
In our life’s journey we too encounter different storms. A storm may arise because of a family problem, a stormy relationship, losing a job, an unpaid debt, children hooked in drugs, and emotional problem. When these happen sometimes we become sacred, anxious, skeptical, and lose our faith.
And what good can this attitude brings us? We need to remember, “Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength.” There is a lesson here for all of us. Danger and crisis offer us opportunities and grace. In the hour of danger we discover a lot about ourselves, about others, and about God.
The reason why we become terrified during times of storms is because we focus too much on the shaking boat and not on Christ who steers the ship. We need to put our faith and trust in the Pilot. Let us remember this prayer: “Lord, my boat is small and the ocean is great. Come quickly. Amen.