Reflection for the Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time, 2024 Year B

Reflection for the Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time, 2024 Year B

Jun 29, 2024 | Reflections

In the storms of life God will never abandon us. In the creed we say: I believe in God the Father Almighty…  This means that God is all-powerful, omnipotent. For God everything is possible because He is God.

In the first reading, God speaks to Job out of the storm of his life and his maladies. He reminds Job who had been complaining about his sufferings, that He is the Lord and Master, even of the bad things which He permits to happen. He controls and limits them according to His almighty wisdom. God tells Job that He has set limits to each of the oceans of the world. He is the One who can calm the storms.

In the Gospel, Jesus had been resting in the stern (back) of boat, as the Apostles cross the Sea of Galilee.

This sea is an inland fresh-water sea known for the violence of its squalls. It is located at the bottom of a long funnel created by rows of mountains to the North. Air travelling through the narrowing valley bursts onto the sea with explosive force. Many of the disciples were seasoned fishermen and used to boats and storms. But this storm was so violent that they began to fear for their lives. As a last resort they woke Jesus in their distress saying:

Master, do you not care, we are going down. 

Sometimes the storms of life arise around us or within us and we feel that we can’t take anymore. It may seem that God is asleep, but He never abandons us, even though some may abandon Him. Jesus woke up and rebuked the wind and the sea: Quiet now, be calm. Peace then also entered the hearts of these frightened men. Immediately the wind dropped, and all was calm again. Then Jesus rebuked them for their little faith. They said: 

Who can this be, even the wind and sea obey Him? 

 God is the control of all the elements in His Creation. They are like His hands and legs. People often don’t recognize this, or they are unwilling to accept it. In the past when natural events occurred people automatically saw them as acts of God.  The elements do God’s Will perfectly and even they, hate the sinner. God does permit natural disasters to happen, and He also limits them. In this way He both chastises people for sin and allows some disasters to occur in order to wake people up spiritually. In fact, He only permits evil, if some good will come out of it.

When the storms of life come to us, we should not fear, but instead respond in faith with prayer, because if we abandon God in a storm it only makes matters worse. Life’s storms are opportunities for personal and spiritual growth when we turn to the Lord in prayer and offer things up. In storms of life, it is important to draw close to Our Lady, Star of the Sea, by reciting Her prayer, the Holy Rosary. This will bring one to peace of heart. The saints are great models of faith and prayer to learn from.

One that comes to mind today is St Francis of Paola who lived in the 1400s. He grew up as a peasant boy from the South of Italy, who taught himself to read while spending twelve months in a local Franciscan monastery. As an adult, he became a hermit for a few years and engaged in much prayer and penance. He then founded a new Religious Order called the Minim Friars (or least Friars). He lived until he was almost one hundred years old. He became well known for many miracles he performed. On one occasion the Pope sent him to help the King of France who was dying from an unknown disease. On the way he was made a guest of the King of Naples. However, St Francis’s strict vegetarian diet made it impossible for him to dine at the king’s table. One day the king wanted to test the friar’s faith, so he sent him a plate full of delicious small fish, cooked and seasoned to perfection. But the Saint recognized the King’s ploy. He made the Sign of the Cross over the fish, who immediately were restored to life and started squirming around on the plate. Francis then told the King’s servant to take the dear little creatures back to the King and tell him how he had restored these poor fish. He then said, tell the king:

  In this way I want you to restore to liberty those unfortunates who are unjustly buried in your prisons.

The miracles of the saints remind us that God is truly the Lord of every storm. As we are all aware, there are great storms in the world, at the moment, with the threat of escalating wars. Pope Benedict XVI also  said at the beginning of his pontificate that it seems the Church is about to capsize because of the storm of scandals and infidelity. So, during times of crisis like today, it is a time of more intense prayer. For example, weekday Mass where possible, daily Rosaries, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and frequent Confession. In order to keep our natural life healthy, we need three meals a day. To keep our supernatural life healthy, we need three good prayer meals a day. Let’s pray constantly and desire that the Kingdom of the Divine Will come soon and reign upon the earth. Let’s also remember that Jesus and Mary are just waiting for us to call on them in order to calms the storms in our lives and in the world. He has the answers for our every difficulty, and He urges us to come to Him and to be healed.

Praise be Jesus Christ, now and forever.