Peace and Grace to you!
Our faith tradition is always an amazing treasure! The readings this weekend capture a representative diversity of situations and sentiments for daily living.
Job has been trying to make sense out of the tragic misfortunes that happened in his life and ultimately concluded that God had not treated him fairly even though he himself had been just and faithful to God. Job feels confused and lost. It is as if a great and terrible hurricane destroyed all that he enjoyed and left him desolate and disoriented. In response to Job’s confusion and complaint, God speaks and reminds Job of who He is.
In the Gospel we have five elements to illustrate lessons for us in daily living: the boat, the sea, the disciples, the storm and Jesus. The boat is a frequent object and symbol in Mark’s Gospel. It is a small place where Jesus is very close with the disciples and away from the crowds. It also serves as an image of the Church. The boat was a means of transportation by which Jesus and the disciples journeyed together to bring the message of salvation to the world around them. The sea represents the forces of nature, mystery, and when aroused, it represents chaos and the abode of the dead. The storm in classical literature is always related to the human experience of confusion, passion, disorientation, change, loss and sentiments of fear and powerlessness. The disciples are those who are close to Jesus and journey with him in a special way to bring the Gospel to other people in different cultures and towns than their own. This represents ALL the people of the Church. At times, there are challenges and seemingly insurmountable forces and obstacles in the way. Just as for the disciples in the story, there can occur in daily living the whole gamut of thoughts and emotions that are not rooted in the peace of God: a sense of peril, jealousy, anger, resentment and even fear of harm or loss of life. In times such as these, we have to use our faith and call out to God who spoke to Job from the midst of the storm! It is the same voice, Jesus, who rose in the midst of the disciples’ peril and spoke to the sea. The sea and all forces of nature obey his voice– just as the chaos did in the beginning—all our fears and passions too are subject to his power to save. Have confidence in Jesus for he is near and will respond to all your needs! May God bless and save you always! +++ Fr. Peter