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       REFLECTION

In today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus calm the raging sea as his disciples’ cling to the storm-tossed boat.  The disciples were terrified that they would die, but Jesus suggests that their faith should have reassured them.  Many of us can probably recall a time when our father came to our rescue, protecting or supporting us, making everything all right.  Today, we honor our dads, our grandfathers, godfathers, uncles, and all who have acted as fathers in our lives.  May their protection and constancy be a model of God’s care for us.

       Drawing a lesson from the storm

St John Chrysostom’s Homilies on Matthew were preached in Antioch and show his keen engagement with details of the text. His main objective was promoting morality, so that in dealing with any passage he concludes with an exhortation to some special virtue. Here is part of what he says about today’s Gospel. The citation is long, but it is full of keen insights: “Behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, so that the ship was covered with the waves, but he was asleep.” Jesus took them with him, not by chance but in order to make them spectators of the miracle that was to take place. For like an excellent trainer, he was anointing them with a view to both objects; as well to be undismayed in dangers, a to be modest in honors. Having sent away the rest, he kept them and lets them be tossed with the tempest; at once correcting this and disciplining them to bear trials nobly. For while the former miracles were great indeed, this one contained also in it a major kind of teaching and was a sign like that of old. For this reason, he takes with him only the disciples. For as when there was a display of miracles, he also lets the people be present; so, when trial and terrors were rising up against him, he takes with him none but the champions of the whole world, whom he was to train. While Matthew merely mentioned that “he was asleep,” Luke says that it was “on a pillow;” meaning both his freedom from pride, and to teach us hereby a high degree of austerity.”

He goes on to moralize about the disciples’ fear: “When the tempest was at its height and the sea raging, they awoke him, saying, “Lord, save us: we perish.” But he rebuked them before he rebuked the sea, because as I said, these things were permitted for training purposes, and they  More…

 

Gospel: Mark 4:35-41

Calming the storm on the Sea of Galilee

When evening had come, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”

He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

 

 
 
 
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