June 20, 2021 — Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time
JB 38:1, 8-11; PS 107:23-24, 24-26, 28-29, 30-31; 2 COR 5:14-17; MK 4:35-41
Our readings today remind us that God always has our best interests in mind. No matter what is going on in our lives, God is with us.
Our First Reading is from the end of the book of Job. The book of Job is an incredible story of God allowing trial and suffering to occur in Job’s life. The devil thinks that the only reason Job is faithful to God is because the Lord has blessed him with wealth, family, etc. God knows that Job is a faithful man and will not turn away from Him despite hardships. So, the Lord allows destruction in Job’s life.
Let’s think for a moment what it was like to be Job. He lost all that he had, including his children. He must have felt completely alone and confused as to why all of this happened to him.
During his trials, Job laments and wallows, but never completely loses faith in God. Our First Reading finds us at the end of his trials. After questioning God, the Lord responds to Job, “Who shut within doors the sea, when it burst forth from the womb… When I set limits for it and fastened the bar of its door, and said: Thus far shall you come but not farther, and here shall your proud waves be stilled!”
Finally, the Lord responded to his questioning heart. God essentially responds by reminding Job to have faith in His power.
It is the Lord who has the power to create, power to allow suffering, and the power to calm the storms of life. It is in this response that we are reminded God is in control and God is always with us. He sees us in every moment, whether we are rejoicing or suffering.
This is re-echoed in our Gospel today. Jesus and His disciples are traveling in a boat when heavy winds and violent waves begin to overwhelm the boat. Jesus was there sleeping in the boat in the midst of this horrific storm.
The disciples woke Jesus and questioned Him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” Jesus calms the wind and the waves, and then asks them in return, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?”
Think back to a time that you endured great suffering, a hard trial or felt overwhelmed with life. You might be living it right now.
How did you respond?
In moments of trial, we often live our days in a panic. It is as if our life is like the life of those disciples. We see the water coming into our boat and we do all that we can in our power to stay afloat. We aimlessly try to throw the water overboard, and we become exhausted because it is thrown right back into our face. We are frantic, so we fail to stop and recognize that our Savior is in the same boat with us. Although it might feel like He is sleeping and His presence is lacking, He is right there suffering with us.
Our First Reading and Gospel remind us that God won’t allow anything that we cannot handle. He sees the whole picture. We can only see the right now. And in a moment of suffering, we might feel trapped. Yet, God sees the way out. He sees the moment of peace and still waters.
Therefore, during our trials, cling to Jesus. Know that there is an end, and whether we see the end in this life or the next, God allows it all for our salvation.
Today, let us thank God for His presence in our lives, and ask for the eyes of faith to see that He is right here with us always.