SATURDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME FEBRUARY 1, 2020
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark 4:35-41
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?”
Reflection: “Let us cross to the other side.”
I have never been on a boat during a storm, but I have been in a car during a torrential rainstorm driving on the interstate amongst the other drivers, praying to get home in one piece. My mother-in-law was riding with us and had a real fear of storms. I was concerned for her comfort being out in this horrific storm. However, she didn’t say a word as our car plunged through a huge puddle throwing water on the windshield leaving us zero visibility for a few seconds. It was very scary to ride seemingly with your eyes closed while driving down the interstate. We were all praying because, sometimes God’s power revealed in nature is overwhelming and brings us to totally depend on Him.
I find it interesting that the gospel story begins with “Let us cross to the other side.” Sometimes in life we have to make a change, such as moving to a new place, changing careers or jobs, bringing forth new life or saying goodbye to a loved one. These life changes are synonymous to “crossing to the other side” where the unexpected can happen. During these turbulent times our faith is tested.
The disciples were learning where to place their faith. They depended on Jesus to help them stay afloat, not to literally take the storm away and save them. Their faith was not in God, but in what they knew and understood about sailing during a storm. Jesus was showing the disciples who He really is and His power over nature. He was teaching them to place their faith in Him and to fear nothing.
Let us ask Jesus for help just as the disciples did on that stormy trip. During our storms and “crossings” we can strengthen our resolve to depend on Jesus. He will always answer with great authority and power bringing us back to a calm and steady place.