Today’s readings remind us to trust and hold fast to our faith. In our times of tragedy and trouble, God is with us always, even when our faith is shaken.

  • To the point: The storm at sea is both a terrifying natural event and a metaphor for overwhelming difficulties that the Church encounters on its journey of discipleship. In either case, Jesus is in the midst of his disciples urging them to greater faith, responding to their fears, and delivering them from danger. The disciples have yet to discover who Jesus is and trust in him; and so do we.
  • Connecting the Gospel (Mark 4: 35-41) to the first reading: Job, in the midst of a storm of life, called out to God for an answer to the chaos he felt. God was with him through it all. What do all our complaints about death amount to anyway?
  • Connecting the Gospel to experience: Saints and mystics have described the difficulties of their spiritual life using such metaphors as a rocky road, arid desert, and the dark night of the soul. These, and the gospel’s image of the storm, remind us that even perfect faith would not spare us from difficulty in following Jesus. Jesus invited the disciples to “cross to the other side.” During Ordinary Time we journey with Jesus, crossing from where we are to where he leads.

Centering prayers

The Gospel

(Mark 4: 35-41)

“Then he asked them, ‘Why are you terrified? Do you not have faith?’”

Raging waves of discord break all around us
and squalls scream through our lives.
Out of sinking boats, we call,
“We are going down! Jesus, save us!”
O calm our storms. “Quiet! Be still,”
we long to hear you say!
Give us faith to know, that in
sunny days or climate crisis, hunger, 
or homelessness, or housed and well fed,
you never leave our boat. Make our life holy, lord of wind and sea.

The First Reading

(Job 38: 8-11)

“Thus far shall you come but no farther,
and here shall your proud waves be stilled.”

Fasten the bars on the doors.
Block all discrimination to our brothers and sisters. 
Set limits on the harm we heap on our sister Earth.
Lord God, open the floodgates of your love.
Director of the stars, moon and tides, direct all the actions.

The Second Reading

(2 Corinthians 5: 14-17)

He indeed died for all, so that those who live might no longer live for themselves.

Fasten us securely to you, O Christ.
We want to be a new creation.
In you and with you, let us do what
you want us to do. Help us live our lives
more for others, instead of for ourselves.

Copyright © 2024, Anne M. Osdieck

Music for reflection