June 21, 2015 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time Deacon Steve Whiteman

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 21, 2015

Reading 1 Jb 38:1, 8-11

Responsorial Psalm Ps 107:23-24, 25-26, 28-29, 30-31

R. (1b) Give thanks to the Lord, his love is everlasting.

Reading 2 2 Cor 5:14-17

Gospel Mk 4:35-41

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Storms in our Lives

I’ve always liked Bible stories about boating and fishing. I’m

not very good at sailing or fishing but I do like to be on the

water in a canoe or kayak. Paddling in nice weather can be

very calm and peaceful. Paddling against the wind and the

waves in a storm can be a helpless and scary experience.

Storms are a great metaphor for struggles in our lives. Job in

the first reading and the disciples in the Gospel both

experienced storms. They seem to be in great danger during

the storm but all survived with God’s help. Even though they

didn’t realize it at the time, God was with them during the

storm and eventually brought them great calm and peace.

The readings today are challenging because they bring up a

tough question: 

How are we dealing with the storms in our lives?

When things are going well it’s easy to count our blessings

and have a strong faith. I know I can become very

complacent and start to believe that I deserve smooth sailing.

When I think I’m doing a good job living a Christian life, I start

to feel entitled to have things go my way.

When I finally do run into some rough weather and find myself

in a crisis, I’m always surprised at how small of a wave it

takes to swamp me. I keep relearning that lesson the hard

way: this life was not meant to be easy. This life is a

temporary situation that gives us an opportunity to get to know

and grow in love with God and our neighbor.

Up to now, I have been fortunate to avoid real tragedy in my

life. When I do find myself dealing with a crisis, they seem to

happen very suddenly…like falling into cold water and having

your breath taken away. One phone call or email is all it takes

to turn your life upside down. It can happen to anyone.

When our life crumbles around us, our faith is tested. A crisis

can change our perspective and God may seem more distant

or completely gone from our life.

When we are experiencing struggles in our lives, we may be

tempted, like the Apostles, to ask the wrong questions: 

Why is this happening to me? 

Why doesn’t God do something to fix this? 

Where is God in this difficult time and why doesn’t He

care about me?

Asking these questions is a natural reaction in a difficult

situation but there is a good chance our boat will sink if we

spend all of our time and energy trying to answer them.

Finding answers to another set of questions may be a better

way to focus our efforts: 

Can I spend some quiet time in prayer with God each

day and try to recognize His presence in my life? 

Can I let God be in charge and trust He has a plan to get

me through this crisis? Can I take advantage of the Sacraments, especially the

healing power of reconciliation during this difficult time? 

What can I learn from this situation and who should I

share it with? What kind of person do I need to be for others during this

crisis? The answers to these questions may come slowly at first

and change as the crisis drags on. If we continue to ask for

God’s help and have faith in His response, our outlook will

improve. We need to listen with our hearts for God’s

whisper in the middle of the storm. His message of comfort

and support may come from many places: nature,

Scripture, music, other people and even children. This may

not be the end of the storm but it can provide the strength

we need to ride it out.

There may be other people you know going through a

similar situation or even in the same boat with you hanging

on for dear life. If these people don’t have faith in their life,

their whole world may be falling apart. From their

perspective, this crisis may wipe out the chance for any

future success or happiness. If their house was built on

sand, the waves don’t need to be very strong to destroy it.

This is also a chance to help others understand why our

faith matters. A chance to show that our God is stronger

than any problem the world can throw at us. 1 Peter 3:15

tells us: “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone

who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with

gentleness and reverence…”

There may be some people in our lives that seem to get

bounced from one crisis to another with little relief. The

lessons they learn from each crisis may be forgotten and

they don’t recognize the early warning signs of the next

storm they are headed into. We need to be a good neighbor

and be a weather radio for them. Weather radios don’t need

to be loud to be effective but they do need to be timely and


If you are enjoying some sunny weather in your life right

now, praise God and share your joy with others. Get into

the habit of inviting God into all parts of your life every day.

Growing that relationship with God during calm times will

make it easier to find Him during the next storm. Reflect on

the last crisis in your life and make sure you learned all you

can from it. Is there anyone in your life that would benefit

from what you learned? Is there anyone that was thrown

out of your boat during the last storm that still needs

rescued? Make the most of the God’s gift of peace.

We won’t be able to avoid all the storms in our life but with

God as our compass we will find our way home.