(Over)Troubled Waters

SHARE THE TRUTH

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12th Sunday (B)
Job 38: 1, 8 – 11
The book of Job is considered a “wisdom in revolt”, that is, questioning the conventional, even, biblical wisdom that man suffers/is punished because of his sins. He has protested innocence in the face of the intense suffering he has endured. He has even questioned Yahweh’s justice and rashly called for a response. In his answer, the Lord sidesteps the question of Job’s lot and simply stresses his wisdom and power in creation. In the end, Job humbly acknowledges the incomprehensibility of God’s wisdom and power.
2 Cor 5:14 – 17
Paul here speaks of a new way of thinking which flows from the Christian way of being. With Christ’s death, a new era has begun. Through their own baptism, Christians are assimilated to Christ in his act of dying. In being configured to Christ’s death, the Christian puts off the old person with its sinfulness and weakness and lives with that life which characterized Christ himself in his self-giving (v15; 4:10f). The result of this is a whole new mindset by which the Christian judges no longer by human “fleshy” criteria, seeing only the weak, the sinful, and the perishable. To live in this new order, then is to view human conduct in terms of the works of the Spirit (Gal 5:22f) not those of the flesh (Gal 5:19).
Mk 4: 35 – 41
This is the first of a series of four miracles in Mark (4:35-5:43). It reflects some of the mythological cosmogonies of the time but basically asserts the Job position, i.e. the control of God (here Jesus) over all the forces of nature, notably those considered to be most distant from the divine realm. The sleep of Jesus symbolizes his spirit of total trust in the Father (Ps 4:9), with the apostles, weak in faith, frightened, and rash in their request for help. Jesus “rebuked” the sea and told to “be muzzled” (“πεφίμωσο pephimoso” v39). This is again the notion of evil spirits dwelling in the sea, with Jesus using the same language as in exorcisms (1:25). He then rebukes his disciples for their lack of faith (v40). The identity question so important in Mark is raised again (v41), a question to be gradually answered as the gospel progresses (8:29f;15:39).
Going beyond the miracle story. The disciples’ cry becomes that of the early church beset by persecution (Mt 10:16ff), rejection (Mt 10:21f), and desertions (Mk 4:13-19). Amid the stormy sea, Christ’s presence is not to be doubted (Mt 28:20); confidence and trust will bring us all believers safely to shore, Jn 14:1;16:33), for he is in total control no matter at times his wisdom and power remain incomprehensible for us. Jesus, I trust in you. Amen!
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Veritas Editorial

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

President of Radio Veritas

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