Reflection: Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Chinese Mass:Every Sunday 2:15 p.m.

Our Lady of the Assumption RC Church, Assumption Priory, Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green E2 9PB (map)

After Mass you are welcome to join the community for a tea gathering

Bible study/sharing every Saturday (2:00-4:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church, 5 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX (near See Woo Chinese Supermarket, Leicester Square tube station)

Talk and discussion meeting First Monday of every month (4:00-6:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church


[1st Reading – Job.38:1,8-11; Ps.106; 2nd Reading – 2Cor.5:14-17; Gospel – Mk.4:35-41]


There are people who, once they have their head on a cushion, sleep so deeply and placidly that whatever happens around them will not wake them up until someone shakes them. This seems to have been the scenario in which Jesus and his disciples found themselves in today’s Gospel. We are told that it was evening and that there were other boats with him. We are also told that Jesus wanted to go to the other side. We are not told why. We are simply told that they left the crowd behind… Usually this was one of the ways that Jesus used to tell his disciples to go to a place on their own, to tell them something special, to teach them something that he wanted them to understand.

Everything seemed quite well and normal until a gale began to blow and the boat was almost swamped. Amidst all this, Jesus was in the stern … asleep. Strange that he who was not a fisherman was fast asleep in that situation and they who were fishermen by profession were all afraid. Mark creates this contrast in his narrative to show us their panic state. And to insist on it he puts these two questions in the disciples’ mouths: “Master, do you not care? We are going down!” They were afraid! But what could he do? They were the experts in boat handling… But on the other hand he was sleeping… At least he could have given a hand or something… No! He was just sleeping … and fast asleep!!!

Once he was invoked, with only a few words he calmed down both the wind and the sea…  and all was calm again. But he also had something else to say to his disciples: ‘Why are you so frightened? How is it that you have no faith?’ We are not told what Jesus did next, but we know what the reaction of the disciples was: They were filled with awe and asked one another “Who can this be? Even the wind and the sea obey him.”

There are different things that one can learn from this story:

  1. If it is God’s will (“Let us cross…”), whatever happens, it is to be done…

  2. God’s message (his teaching …) can arrive at its destination in various ways…

  3. There may be problems in life (storm…), but when God is there no one should fear…

  4. We can be experts in something (fishermen…) but it is His intervention that saves…

  5. Everything in its course obeys God’s will (wind and sea…); so must we…

  6. Even if God seems (or is…) asleep, He is still there… and he wants to give us serenity…

  7. We only have to have faith… and BELIEVE…

  8. Even if we are already disciples, we still have to get to know the Lord…

Lord, quite often in life we find ourselves in storms which seem ready to swamp us. Storms that are not foreseen and they frighten us. Lord you promised that You will be with us always. Do not let us ask if You care because we know You do. The problem is Lord that we do not believe enough to let ourselves go into Your hands. We know you are with us but we panic and since we do so we do not realise how powerful you are. Lord we need you! Give us the gift of faith to believe.  Thank You Lord!”


Fr. Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv.

(Permission to reproduce on this site by Fr. Jesmond, St. Patrick’s RC Church, Waterloo )

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