Sunday, June 21, 2015, is the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time. The readings will be Job 38:1-11; 2 Corinthians 5:14-17; and Mark 4:35-41.
Sunday’s readings acknowledge the dilemma of reconciling human suffering and troubles with God’s eternal, embracing love. The reality is that our human condition includes both a God who loves us and never abandons us and suffering.
Our Old Testament reading comes from the Book of Job, composed six centuries before the birth of Jesus. Job was a good and righteous man who had a wonderful family and property until struck by a series of disasters that deprived him of his family, belongings and happiness. The human explanations offered to Job regarding his suffering are in adequate. In next Sunday’s passage, God does not explain Job’s suffering but asks him to remember the nature of the God that accompanies him during his troubles. God says, “Who shut within the doors the sea…set limits for it and fastened the bar of its door?” In other words, God can control the awesome force of the sea, certainly then God is worthy of human trust and faith. Human suffering is beyond our understanding, but we can have faith that is not beyond the power of God.
In the Gospel, Jesus calms the storm that is terrifying his disciples as it tosses their boat. Jesus is God and, therefore, has control over the sea just as he has control over all the forces of destruction and life, good and evil. When Jesus calms the seas, he strengthens the faith of his followers, the Gospel says “…they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?” He inspired them to believe in the mission that would defeat the power of evil and sin in the world, even when it would require suffering.
St. Paul tells us “The love of Christ impels us, once we have come to the conviction that one died for all…whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.”
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