Mark 4:35-41 Reflection: Jesus Calms The Sea

A reading from the gospel according to Mark 4:35-41

35 On that day, as evening drew on, Jesus said to his disciples:
“Let us cross to the other side.”
36 Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus with them in the boat just as he was.
And other boats were with him.
37 A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat,
so that it was already filling up.
38 Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion.
They woke him and said to him,
“Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
39 He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!”
The wind ceased and there was great calm.
40 Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified?
Do you not yet have faith?”
41 They were filled with great awe and said to one another,
“Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”

Reflection: Faith over fear in order to be still

In the gospel reading, Jesus was sleeping when His disciples were experiencing a strong storm that was about to break their boat. They were terrified and didn’t know what to do so they turned to Jesus. After Jesus calmed the sea, He rebuked them for their lack of faith. He has enough reasons to do so. Previously, they have witnessed the power of Jesus through the miracles of healing and casting out of demons. Yet when the storm came to their life, they forgot that in their midst is Jesus, the miracle worker. Their faith in Him has not developed yet.

In life, we encounter a lot of storms, both the literal and figurative. Sometimes, they are so strong as to break our faith and push us to cry out, “Lord, do you not care?” At other moments, we feel despondent and start to think God is sleeping or has abandoned us. Yet in those moments of trials, Jesus comes to calm our storm and we could hear His voice questioning us, “Where is your faith? Why are you terrified?”

Be still. Be strong. Be calm. Do not be afraid. These are the messages of our gospel today. Storms do come but like the physical storms, they don’t last. Yes, they may leave us scared and scarred but we have a God who is more powerful than the most powerful storms. Let us have faith in Him.

*****

In the Philippines, storms and other natural calamities are common occurrences. They happen too often that the people have become used to them and some are no longer terrified when they come.

In the gospel passage, the disciples were terrified. Maybe it was the strongest storms they have ever witnessed and their boat was beginning to break. But then Jesus was sleeping soundly like a baby. When they woke Him up, He was not terrified at all. Instead, He used it as an opportunity to show His Power. Afterwards, He chastised His disciples for having no or little faith.

Misfortunes and other forms of sufferings are often called the storms of life. They happen to everyone. Some are terrifying. At times, these difficulties weaken or even paralyze us to the point of giving up. Yet, it is in these times when we should have faith over fear. Let us develop the habit of being calm like a bridge over troubled water. Like in the gospel, let us allow God to show us His power in our lives. After all, we call Him “almighty”.

There is a popular saying that goes this way: “Not all storms come to disrupt our life. Some come to clear our path.” So when the next storm comes, let us look for opportunities to gain or learn something. As some people say, there is a reason for everything. Who knows really, a storm in our life could be the turning point for what we have always been aspiring for. Cheers!

Stormy Seas
Stormy Seas (Background photo from pixabay.com)

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