Pastor's Corner

The Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time w/e 6/19-6/20

The Gospel passage from Mark which has been chosen for proclamation on this 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time describes a scene familiar to those who are Disciples of Christ in faith. It is the storm on the Sea of Galilee and describes the movement of Jesus and the disciples to the other shore of the Sea as they encounter a sudden and violent storm surge and find Jesus, much to their dismay, to be asleep on a cushion in the stern. They woke Him in their fright and cried out to Him with concern that He might be leaving them alone and to their peril. The question which they ask is key and telling. “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” Jesus quickly calms the sea with a stern warning similar to the one that Mark describes as He casts the evil spirits into the swine in another time.

Jesus follows His interference with a question in which He connects fear and a lack of faith. “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” While Mark’s description of the scene is meant to demonstrate that Jesus has power over all of nature, even at its most disturbing, we must return to the question which emerges from the disciples in the initial moments of this trouble. “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” It is a question which comes from the depths of the human soul in relation to the fluctuations and burdens of human living and doing and believing.

We can become frustrated with what sometimes seems like the silence of God in the midst of difficulties, threats and sorrows and we tend to ask the same question of Jesus. Faith insists that we trust in the presence of Christ available to us in and through the many moments in which He has promised such. But faith is not surety. It is a gift which comes with the often difficult neighbor which is doubt. It is natural for the disciples to shout their question to Jesus in the middle of a situation which may be life threatening and it is understandable that we will do the same on occasion. We are a very human people and God understands that as He offers us reassurance and even salvation as He becomes human in the person of Jesus Christ. Mark reassures his readers and those who follow that Jesus, who has power over all, will make all well in the end. It was the great saint Julienne of Norwich who, when examining an acorn outside of her window, came to the conclusion as it grew into the oak, that all will be well. This is the message, albeit spoken in a whisper, offered in this holy Gospel passage and it is the message of the Cross and Resurrection of Christ which is central to the movement of faith in our lives.

Faith is that which moves us to return to the celebration of the holy Mass offered for us and for all and we are urged to be still and to know that God is with us in Jesus in the Eucharist. It has been a long and arduous year and more through which we have been asked to sacrifice for the health and wellbeing of others. We have done so with patience and with a yearning that all will be well. We are getting there, and part of that journey is a return to the presence of Christ at Mass. It is encouraging to see so many old and familiar and new and welcomed faces around the Sunday altar. We continue to pray in hope for our parish and for its thriving forth from the generosity and presence of our parishioners. We welcome all those who sense it is time for a return and continue to pray in hope for those who are not yet ready. We pray that all who have the privilege and blessing of being fathers will have and enjoyable Father’s Day. 

Thanks and have a great week!

God Bless, Fr. Joe