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Scripture Reflections

Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time – June 23

Job 38:1, 8-11
2 Corinthians 5:14-17
Mark 4:35-41

By Msgr. Robert H. Aucoin

High winds, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other natural phenomena have pummeled portions of our country this year. Even a few times in the North Country, unexpected winds and heavy downpours have ruined or cancelled some summer fun events. Definitely, in the winter we will always brace ourselves for the unexpected especially in our notorious snow belt areas.

Raging seas, strong winds, and a squall frighten the apostles, but Jesus sleeps comfortably on a cushion through it all seemingly unaware of what is happening around him and especially out of touch with the fear experienced by the others.

Storms are a wonderful analogy for life itself. Things happen. The “things” may unravel some people, while other people could care less. So, we might sometimes wonder: what is worse? The event or the person experiencing the event?

Probably, we have all suffered moments or events or situations in our lives that seemed beyond our ability to cope. Like the disciples in today’s gospel, we panic, we look for solutions, we wonder what will happen to us. The storms in our lives may not be on the high seas, but are in our homes, places of work, schools, or institutions.

Our storms come in all shapes and sizes. A spiritual storm may threaten to blow out the spark of faith that we rely on daily or that we hope leads us on through our daily life. An emotional storm might loom in the background threatening to harass our marriage or an important human relationship with someone we care deeply about. The psychological storm may leave us totally baffled about ourselves especially in relationship with others.

All of these storms converge in making us realize that they can bring us closer to God or drive us further away almost like using the wrong or the right end of a magnet.

So, what should we do or how should we react when a storm confronts us? Well, the apostles had it right. They prayed. Does that sound too simple? Too magical? Well, prayer is too simple and too magical when we reduce prayer to: “God, give me what I want.”

Perhaps, we should think in terms of prayer that should accompany us as we live each day. Remember Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, he prayed, “Not my will…but your will be done.” After all, God knows much better than we do what is best for us. (Luke 22:42). Don’t forget Jesus’ words making a promise: “Ask, and you will receive.” (Mt 7:7). We may not receive in the way we prayed, but our prayer will always be answered, and that answer will always reflect God’s wisdom and love for us.

God made a promise in the Old Testament through his prophet Isaiah. “I will turn their darkness into light and make rough country smooth before them. These are my promises, and I will keep them without fail.” (Is 40:31).
People of faith reach out to God daily in good times and in bad, when all is right and when all seems bad. In turmoil, we may not feel like singing, but try these words which we have all sung many times: “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.”

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