Tuesday, August 25, 2009

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Click here for today's readings.

In Job, God describes his mighty works of bringing forth water to the earth and marking its boundaries. This reading provides an illusion to both the creation story and to the great flood of Noah's time. After the flood, God promised not to destroy the world again with a flood and he marked his promise with the bow in the sky. This was the first covenant that God ever made with mankind.

Water has the ability to bring, renew, and destroy life. By the waters of baptism we die to our fleshly lives and are born again into our spiritual selves. As the second reading tells us, whoever is in Christ is no longer a man or woman or child, but a new creation in God. Our old selves of fear, worry, doubt and shame should have passed away and we should trust in God's providence. The love that Christ has for us should bring us comfort and strength because we know Christ not as an earthly man, but as our Savior who loved us enough to die for us. As a baptized believer in Christ, we are born again into this spirit and should be free of fleshly cares.
However, to trust in God is not always easy. We have to put away our own thoughts and desires so that we can follow God's. We cannot view the world as the world views it – with fear and worry. We must view the world as God sees it – with love and the greater plan in mind. At times, our faith allows us to do this.

In the Gospel of Mark, earlier in the day the disciples had heard many parables from Jesus regarding faith taking root and growing (the parable of the sower, the seed upon rocky ground, and the mustard seed parables). The storm was an opportunity for their seeds to take root and bloom, but the seed did not take root and their faith in Jesus faltered. They weren't able to trust him, they feared their destruction in the storm. Even though they doubted and were afraid, Jesus acts to calm the seas. He shows his authority over nature just as God did in the creation stories, just as God did for Noah's family, and just as God described his power to Job.

Anxiety can keep us from the true peace that Christ offers us. Faith in God's providence can bring calmness into our lives. When we fear the world around us, we remember the words of the apostles, but have faith as we cry out to the Lord, “Do you not care that I am perishing?” Ask and you shall receive. The Lord will provide for your needs. Trust Him.

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