Homily for the 12th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year B

Do not be afraid; the Lord will Calm Your Storm!

Readings: 1st: Job 3:1.8-11; Ps: 106; 2nd: 2Cor 5:14-17; Gos: Mk 4: 35-41

This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico. He is the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canóvanas, and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Fr. Canice is a member of the Academy of Homiletics. For more details and comments contact him at canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

(https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8452-8392)

Today is the twelfth Sunday of the church’s ordinary time. In it, the holy mother church reminds and encourages us her children that Christ is with us even in the midst of all the storms of this life. Therefore, this is a worthy cause for celebration and thanksgiving because we are so glad that Jesus cares for us.

Both the first reading from Job and the Gospel of Mark today remind us that God is the world’s creator. Hence, he has the power to control and regulate all the natural, physical and spiritual forces or activities going on in this world. God has the whole world in his hands.  So, he directs the course of our lives and the history of this world.

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 He knows when best to intervene both in our personal lives and in the history of our entire world. This is evident in his timely response to Job and his intervention in the situation of his disciples. According to our second reading, when God intervenes, he does so because of love for us. This was what he did when he allowed his only son Jesus Christ to die at the appropriate time to save and renew us.

Life is full of storms. At times, they can become so strong and strange that our human strength can no longer support us. At such moments fear and complaints, he might take over the central stage of our life. Even in some cases, we might lose our faith in God, thinking that he has abandoned us, or that he does not exist. These storms come in different forms.

They could be problems in our marriage, our children who are not responding well, lack of a good job, insufficient finance, inability to procreate, or a prolonged sickness that has defiled all treatments. They could also be the inability to find or maintain a fair and stable relationship or fall out with people all the time. They could also be poor results in our academics or business. The list is unending, but these represent the realities we face every day. Brethren, the truth is that there is no assurance that our lives would be utterly free of storms. However, the good news is that there is an assurance that Christ is with us to help us succeed.

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There are two fundamental truths that the gospel reveals to us about these problems. The first is that Christ is with you in that boat, and is aware of the storm in your path. So, you cannot be with Him and yet sink. It is not possible! The second is that you cannot overcome your storms alone, no matter how experienced you think you are navigating your boat. Hence, Christ tells us: “Apart from me, you can do nothing.” There is no doubt that his disciples made much effort to control their boat before inviting Christ. However, when they failed, they cried out: “Lord, do you not care if we perish?” Of course, Christ intervened because he assured us: “Call upon me in times of trouble, and I will help you” (Ps 50: 15).

Finally, there are three things we must continue to do. First, rather than live in fear, sit and complain like Job, or give up completely, let us cry out and invite the Lord to help us. This is because: “Our help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth” (Ps 121, 1-2). Second, we must continue to show profound faith in God, Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Faith makes us believe that God created us in love, sustains us with his providence and, will save us through his mercy. Third, we must continue to be thankful to God in all circumstances of our life. So, with the psalmist, let us: “…Give thanks to the Lord, for his love and mercy endures forever.”

Peace be with you!

Maranatha!

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