12th Sunday in Ordinary Time – B

“The Storms of Life: Challenge or Defeat?”

12th Sunday of Ordinary Time – B

“In life, storms come not to hurt you but to make you stronger.”
― Debasish Mridha

In the first reading and the Gospel there are storms, and the storms are calmed by the power of the Lord. Jesus tells his disciples that they should have faith, that they are not alone. When the storms arise, Jesus will be there to help them. He calmed the waves and quieted the wind.

Some may say: “well, that’s a Bible story, that’s not real life.”  But it poses a real question for all of us.  Where do we go during the storms in our lives? Some people turn to family or friends, some turn to food or drugs and alcohol.  Some people want to blame others or God for the storms in their life.

We hear, “Why is God doing this to me?  What sin have I committed to deserve this?” Or worse yet others have said: “This storm, is happening because of their sin” whatever it may have been.

The book of Job tries to explore this dilemma.  Job is a very holy and good man. Even God admits it at the beginning of the book. He is blessed in every way.  But by a few sudden tragedies he loses his crops, his livestock.   He even loses the respect of his children and friends. His wife and a few faithful friends kept telling him must deserve all this for something he did.  But even during this storm in life Job never quits on God.  He remains faithful and even says: “the Lord gives, and the Lord takes a way.”

God’s response to Job’s demands come in the form of questions, questions mostly about the mysteries of nature, question like we hear in today’s first reading. These questions go on for four chapters.  These questions were meant to lead the readers of the book of Job to a sense of trust that God is in control of all things.  We hear this in the gospel where Jesus calms the sea and then says to his apostles: “O you of little faith.”

We are sometimes like the apostles in today’s gospel, when storms come up in our lives we cry out, “Lord, don’t you care that I am going to drown?”  Some have even said to me: “God has abandoned me!”  But this is not true, not now, not ever!

Every time we gather here for the Eucharistic Liturgy, in Communion, in our prayers, our petitions, God gives us as many answers as he thinks we can understand at that time.  We have the Good News that God loves us so much he gave His Son for us.  We have the resurrection of Jesus to give us hope.  We have the Holy Eucharist to remind us that God is with us through everything, to challenge us, to give us strength and to unite us closely with him until the end of time.

The answers we get are like that of Job’s.  They require us to continue to have faith, trust in the Lord and be confident that there is no storm that will come upon us that God will not give us the strength to weather.  In the end, as is always the case, we have two choices:        1) to grow stronger with the grace and strength of God or

2) to give in and be defeated by the storm.

Remember, fear only gives the storm more power over us!

God bless our faith community, and all who live in simplicity of heart.