[Job 38:1,8-11 Psalm 106; 2Corinthians 5:14-17; Mark 4:35-41]

One of the strangest things I find about today’s Gospel is that despite what is plainly in front of them, the disciples seem to be blind as to who Jesus really is. Let us think about this Gospel for a few moments. Some of the men chosen as disciples were fishermen, men who made their living on the sea. They would be accustomed to reading the weather and also what to do if a storm breaks. They were suddenly hit by a gale; it was blowing so hard the water was coming up onto their boat and these experienced fishermen feared for their lives. They looked around for their teacher and found he was fast asleep, unconcerned about what was going on around him. They woke him and he experienced their terror. He spoke to the storm and ordered it to be quiet. It obeyed, and yet the disciples asked one another ‘Who can this be?’

As is frequently the case in St Mark’s Gospel, the disciples lack of faith is highlighted, I think this is given to us as an example for the times when we struggle with our faith. Surely if the disciples sometimes struggled with their faith when they knew Jesus in the flesh and witnessed all of his works then we can sometimes be excused for struggling with our faith; when we rely on the words from these same disciples and those who followed them to help us to understand and get to know Jesus better.

Another great example in this Gospel passage, is that in a time of great stress and fear the disciples turned to Jesus and asked for help. These experienced fishermen didn’t try to get out of this particular storm under their own knowledge and power; they recognised they needed the help of the Lord. Today, we are his disciples, like those early fishermen and tax collectors we have been called to follow Jesus. Our faith tells us that Jesus accompanies us on our journey, He never leaves us alone and He is never asleep; He is always on duty. Jesus does not want us to wait until there is a crisis to call out to Him. Jesus wants us to have an intimate relationship with Him all the time. He wants us to know Him and love Him, so that when we do face a storm or a crisis, we can trust that He is with us and that we don’t have to cry out in fear.

Think about the last time you turned to God in prayer out of desperation,

In hindsight, could you have taken whatever was concerning you to the Lord, sooner?

Do we allow ourselves to fully trust in Jesus?

In what areas of your life could Jesus ask you, why have you no faith?

I know there were times in my life when I didn’t even come to Mass. I turned my back on my faith, believing that it was more important for me as a young dad to work overtime on a Sunday than to be with my family at Church. I struggled to have a relationship with Jesus and allowed the storms in my life to overwhelm me. But just as Jesus rebuked the wind, and calmly rebuked the disciples for their lack of faith, he gently rebuked me for my lack of faith. Jesus made sure that I came back to Him, there was nothing dramatic, just lots of gentle encouragement. Our Lord calms the storms in our life, He heals and forgives us. If even the winds and the seas listen to him then so should we.

When Jesus asks the disciples ‘how is it that you have no faith?’ What did He mean? The church tells us that “By faith, we believe in God and believe all that he has revealed to us and that Holy Church proposes for our belief.” [CCC1842] We also need to put our faith into action. When faith ‘is deprived of hope and love, faith does not fully unite the believer to Christ and does not make him a living member of his Body.’ [CCC1815]

We can put our faith into action by doing good works with a good heart; reaching out to those in need, helping our fellow Christians who may be struggling with their faith. Reaching out to those with no faith showing them God’s love and most important of all, believing that Jesus is there for us, not just when there are storms in our life, but everyday walking every step alongside us.

Further Reading

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

CCC 423, 464-469: Jesus, true God and true Man
CCC 1814-1816: faith as gift of God, and human response
CCC 671-672: maintaining faith in adversity

Please keep in your prayers this week

  • The sick and housebound, those who are dying and those who are grieving.
  • Those seeking election, that they have a genuine call to serve their community and that they back up any promises they make with their actions.
  • Father Jean-Patrice that he makes a full recovery.
  • Our family members who may have drifted away from the Faith, may Jesus gently rebuke them and restore their faith.
  • Tom Messenger/Brother Aiden as he makes his final vows as a monk at Douai this weekend.

Deacon Tony 21st June 2024