When Storms Come

The Nazareth Page - A gospel meditation for your home

June 20, 2021 – 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Mark 4:35-41

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A favorite subject of artists depicting scenes from the life of Christ is the storm at sea. Waves lashed against the fragile boat. The disciples of Jesus had the look of terror. And there at the bow of the boat was Jesus, sound asleep. A vivid scene of contrasts.

We know how the narrative ends. They wake Jesus. He looks around in a relaxed manner, says something and the storm departs. Then he says to his friends something like, “Relax.
Enjoy the boat ride and have greater trust. And finally, expect an occasional storm.”

When I read the gospel for today, it dawned on me that there is more than one kind of storm in our lives. Yes, there are storms caused by nature and sadly they seem on the rise. But there are also storms in society, in governments and even in our church.


And to make this more personal, there are storms that come into our lives arising from difficult social situations, from illness and injury, from financial strains and from the day-to-day ups and downs that come our way.

We can simply accept them, or even ignore them. Or work our way through them. So, let’s look back to what the disciples did. They alerted Jesus to the situation facing them. They knew that they could not defeat the storm on their own. They asked for his help.

So, how should we act when challenged by storms that come our way? Must we face them all by ourselves? Do we have to deal with difficulties all alone? Or can we seek help from God, who is as close to us today as were those disciples in the boat on that stormy day on Lake Galilee.

Storms of all kinds are part of everyone’s life. We might say they are built into the world we live in, the world created by God. But God does not want us to face them alone. We can seek help from others. It’s no sin to ask for help when needed. And we can also pray to God for strength, wisdom and whatever else we might need to survive. God is not indifferent to us as we face the many storms that are part of every life. In fact, it’s just the opposite.

©David M. Thomas, PhD

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