12th Sunday Ordinary Time

In today’s Scripture, we have God calming the storms. In the first reading from the Old Testament, God speaks to Job from the midst of the sea. “God addressed Job out of the storm”. And in today’s Gospel, Jesus is in the boat with His disciples as the waves were breaking over the boat and it was beginning to fill up. In both circumstances, God is present in the middle of the storm and brings peace.

This is a powerful reminder of God‘s immanence. That is the fancy way to say God‘s presence in our lives. Nothing challenges our faith more than suffering or hardship. When we face trials and pain, we are easily tempted to question God‘s love for us. We our tempted to question God‘s presence in our life. It seems very easy for us to conclude that God does not love us or care for us if we suffer needlessly. In certain circumstances we may throw our arms up and conclude that God is in fact absent from our lives.

However we must remember that God left the power, glory, and majesty of heaven to be born as man. He was born as one of us. He did not live among us as a king or prince or even a wealthy man. He lived humbly and submitted Himself to the cruelty of evil men. Our God entered into our suffering. He experienced it firsthand through the scourging and Crucifixion.

We would rather that God take away all our suffering in order to prove His love for us. That makes most sense to the human mind. Having a God who enters into our suffering and then conquers it through transformation is something very difficult for us to understand, but we must remember that God is with us. We must remember that God conquers all suffering – even ultimate suffering of death itself. Suffering is not the end of us. Death is not the end of us.

We may go through immense pain but in the end we are called to be united to our God in eternal life. In the moment this might not bring much consolation but it IS reality and truth. Our God does not abandon us when we need him. He is with us in a powerful way. Our God Who did not spare His only Son is certainly with each and every person who suffers. Our God allowed Himself to experience the cruelest suffering this world could provide. Therefore He knows firsthand what it is to suffer in this world. And we place our hope in the fact that He transforms are suffering. Death itself cannot conquer His love for us. Death itself cannot conquer our connection with our God

So what do we do when we feel overwhelmed by the storms of our life? What do we do when it seems like our boat is filling up with water? What do we do when we feel like we are drowning in our troubles and struggles? In those moments we call upon the God who is with us. We call upon the God who is more powerful than any storm that we could face. We remind ourselves of His love and presence for us. We remind ourselves that in the end our God loves us and calls us to Himself.

We may have struggles and trials and significant storms in our life. Can we see any presence of God in these moments? When you face hard times, who do you most appreciate? The ones who are with you. They may not be able to solve your problems or take them away. However you receive the love and support just because they are with you in hard times. Our God does the same for us in a very unique way. He is with us. We call upon our God to bring peace to the storms of our life. We call upon our God to give us a spirit of peace and confidence in His love and ability to overcome any hardship.

This is not easy for the human mind and human heart. We pray that we do not give into fear and despair. We pray that we have hope and trust in God. And we always know that our Ever-Present God is indeed the Lord Who calms the storms of our lives.

We look to the example of Jesus. What did Jesus do on Holy Thursday night? Jesus knew he was to be handed over to evil men. Jesus went to the garden of Gethsemane to pray. Jesus asked his Apostles to be with Him. In our moments of difficulty, we do the same. We pray and we gather together those who love us. We pray together. We remember the Good Friday becomes Easter Sunday.

For those who are feeling overwhelmed by the storms of life, God is with you. God is present. God loves you. In time, God will bring you peace. No matter how difficult the struggle, it will NOT take away God‘s love for you. It will NOT be the end of your story. Together let us gather in prayer. Together let us call upon our God. Together let us have hope, faith, and love. The storms may come – but we will not drown.

 reading from the Book of Job

The Lord addressed Job out of the storm and said:
   Who shut within doors the sea,
      when it burst forth from the womb;
   when I made the clouds its garment
      and thick darkness its swaddling bands?
   When I set limits for it
      and fastened the bar of its door,
   and said: Thus far shall you come but no farther,
      and here shall your proud waves be stilled!

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 107:23-24, 25-26, 28-29, 30-31

R. :

R. (1b) Give thanks to the Lord, his love is everlasting.
R. Alleluia. Alleluia.

They who sailed the sea in ships,
   trading on the deep waters,
these saw the works of the LORD
   and his wonders in the abyss.

R. Give thanks to the Lord, his love is everlasting.
R. Alleluia.

His command raised up a storm wind
  which tossed its waves on high.
They mounted up to heaven; they sank to the depths;
   their hearts melted away in their plight.

R. Give thanks to the Lord, his love is everlasting.
R. Alleluia.

They cried to the LORD in their distress;
   from their straits he rescued them,
he hushed the storm to a gentle breeze,
   and the billows of the sea were stilled.

R. Give thanks to the Lord, his love is everlasting.
R. Alleluia.

They rejoiced that they were calmed,
   and he brought them to their desired haven.
Let them give thanks to the LORD for his kindness
   and his wondrous deeds to the children of men.

R. Give thanks to the Lord, his love is everlasting.
R. Alleluia.

Second Reading
2 Cor 5:14-17

Behold, new things have come.

A reading from the second Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians

Brothers and sisters:
The love of Christ impels us,
   once we have come to the conviction that one died for all;
   therefore, all have died.
He indeed died for all,
   so that those who live might no longer live for themselves
   but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

Consequently, from now on we regard no one according to the flesh;
   even if we once knew Christ according to the flesh,
   yet now we know him so no longer.
So whoever is in Christ is a new creation:
   the old things have passed away;
   behold, new things have come.

Acclamation before the Gospel
Lk 7:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

A great prophet has risen in our midst.
God has visited his people.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Mk 4:35-41

Who is this whom even wind and sea obey?

✠ A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark

On that day, as evening drew on, Jesus said to his disciples:
“Let us cross to the other side.”
Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus with them in the boat just as he was.
And other boats were with him.
A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat,
   so that it was already filling up.
Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion.
They woke him and said to him,
   “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
He woke up,
   rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!”
The wind ceased and there was great calm.
Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified?
Do you not yet have faith?”
They were filled with great awe and said to one another,
   “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”

At the end of the Gospel, the Deacon, or the Priest, acclaims:

The Gospel of the Lord.

All reply:

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

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