12th Sunday of the Year, B – June 20, 2021.
Readings: Job 38:1,8-11; Psalm 106:23-26,28-32; 2 Corinthians 5:14-17 & Gospel – Mark 4:26-34.
Theme: ” Be Still…” (Psalm 46:10)
In the first reading, Job and his friends focused on the meaning of individual suffering but God revealed that he has the final word. In the second reading, St. Paul discloses that since one man died and rose again, the faithful are invited to live “no longer for themselves” but for him. The gospel discloses how the sea and the wind obeyed Jesus who delivered his disciples who were frightened. Amidst the winds and storms of materialism, secularism and Christian persecution, we are charged to focus on Jesus who has the capacity to calm the boat of the Church towards its final destination.
Beloved in Christ, our liturgy presents us with the story of the calming of the sea. As contemporary disciples, our gospel suggests that we are in the boat of the Church yet sailing on the murky waters of a mundane world which hates us so badly. It is in this world where the strong winds of capitalism are intent on sinking our Titanic that we are called to be calm and still bearing in mind that the Lord would not desert us.
Background and Summary of the Readings
In the first reading (Job 38:1,8-11), Job and his friends focused their attention on the meaning of individual suffering but God invited Job to see himself and his anxieties in the matrix of a world that is wonderfully and unfathomable made. The text reveals how God invited Job to see himself and his anxieties within the matrix of his creation.
In the second reading (2 Corinthians 5:14-17), St. Paul discloses that since one man died and rose again, the faithful are invited to live “no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised to life for them.” He surmises that we are “a new creation” because “the old creation has gone, and now the new one is here.”
The gospel (Mark 4:26-34) tells the story of the calming of the sea. It recalls how the disciples were afraid of the waves which were breaking into the boat that they were in. They cried out to Jesus who rebuked the wind and the sea and they obeyed him. At that, he rebuked them for their lack of faith. We are told that they were amazed and wondered who is this that even the wind and sea obey him.
1. Hold Unto the Faith: The first reading reminds us that just as Job the just man suffered, we must learn to hold unto the faith amidst trials and tribulations bearing in mind that though the just may suffer, God has the final say.
2. Live for Others: Just as one man, Jesus, died for all, we are challenged to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters towards making the world a better place to live in.
3. Embrace the New Life: Since old things have passed away, the message of St. Paul invites us to embrace the new life of Christ through faithfulness.
4. Count on God: Though we are in a world which tosses us about with the storm of Christian persecution, materialism and secularism, we are charged to always remember that with Jesus in the boat of the Church, we shall be victorious.
5. Command Authority: By calming the stormy sea, Christ teaches contemporary Christians to leverage on the authority of Jesus to pull down and destroy the stronghold of the devil even as they evangelize nations.
1. In the first reading, Job and his friends want to focus their attention on the meaning of individual suffering.
2. In the second reading, St. Paul discloses that since one man died and rose again, the faithful are invited to live “no longer for themselves…”
3. He surmises that we are “a new creation” because “the old creation has gone, and now the new one is here.”
4. The gospel recalls how the disciples were afraid of the waves which were breaking into the boat that they were in.
5. They cried out to Jesus and he rebuked the wind and the sea which obeyed him.
Our liturgy invites the Christian to be calm and still as Jesus does not forget his own especially when they are in dire need. Although the Church is tossed about like a boat on the high sea, Christ has the final word. In the face of fierce persecution against the Church of God, Christians must learn from the heroic example of Job who although was initially worried but later resigned to the will of God. Let us take consolation in the words of scriptures: “Be still and know that I am God…” (Psalm 46:10). May the Holy Spirit help us to stand tall, wear a crown and be sweet on the inside, like a pineapple. Amen!