First Reading Job 38:1,8-11 ·
From the heart of the tempest the Lord gave Job his answer. He said: Who pent up the sea behind closed doors when it leapt tumultuous out of the womb, when I wrapped it in a robe of mist and made black clouds its swaddling bands; when I marked the bounds it was not to cross and made it fast with a bolted gate? Come thus far, I said, and no farther: here your proud waves shall break.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 106(107):23-26,28-32
O give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures for ever.
Second Reading 2 Corinthians 5:14-17 ·
The love of Christ overwhelms us when we reflect that if one man has died for all, then all men should be dead; and the reason he died for all was so that living men should live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised to life for them.
From now onwards, therefore, we do not judge anyone by the standards of the flesh. Even if we did once know Christ in the flesh, that is not how we know him now. And for anyone who is in Christ, there is a new creation; the old creation has gone, and now the new one is here.
Gospel Mark 4:35-41
With the coming of evening, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Let us cross over to the other side.’ And leaving the crowd behind they took him, just as he was, in the boat; and there were other boats with him. Then it began to blow a gale and the waves were breaking into the boat so that it was almost swamped. But he was in the stern, his head on the cushion, asleep. They woke him and said to him, ‘Master, do you not care? We are going down!’ And he woke up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Quiet now! Be calm!’ And the wind dropped, and all was calm again. Then he said to them, ‘Why are you so frightened? How is it that you have no faith?’ They were filled with awe and said to one another, ‘Who can this be? Even the wind and the sea obey him.’
Do we need to wake up God? Are we in the middle of tremendous suffering that we need Him? Do we have to cry, Lord, save me because my life is sinking? Isn’t it true that our life is sorted out? We have savings, medical and life insurance, we have rest homes, we can afford to go somewhere and have holidays, basically, we can enjoy life!
This is the take, waking God, may mean that He will calm the wind. It may also mean giving us storms.
Take the example of Job. Job was living peacefully and abundantly. And he was faithful to God. But God allowed Job to suffer and pushed him to the limit, until Job cursed the day he was born. Job realised later through the manifestation of God that he could not understand God’s ways.
We do not need to suffer ourselves for us to know that God’s ways are beyond our understanding. We just need to look around and see the suffering in the world.
I propose to focus on the boat. We may not cry because my life is sinking but my boat is sinking. My boat, together with others, is sinking. This is an invitation to be outward looking, to see the reality in the world outside of me. People have no food, no freedom. There are many refugees because of insurgency or war, migrants and victims of human-trafficking. We are in the middle of a pandemic and many are suffering from mental depression.
Empathy, compassion and love towards others will move us to cry, Lord, wake up, save us! Lord, give us a merciful heart like yours that we may care for others.
We may learn from Elihu, the good friend of Job when he explained to Job, that his suffering is a way the God is molding Job to be according to the mind of God. Complete trust is necessary in good times and in bad.