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June 21, 2015
Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

We have a Guest Homilist this week.


Are You Afraid of Storms?



Reading 1
Jb 38:1, 8-11

The Lord addressed Job out of the storm and said:
Who shut within doors the sea,
when it burst forth from the womb;
when I made the clouds its garment
and thick darkness its swaddling bands?
When I set limits for it
and fastened the bar of its door,
and said: Thus far shall you come but no farther,
and here shall your proud waves be stilled!

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 107:23-24, 25-26, 28-29, 30-31

R. (1b) Give thanks to the Lord, his love is everlasting.
R. Alleluia.
They who sailed the sea in ships,
trading on the deep waters,
These saw the works of the LORD
and his wonders in the abyss.
R. Give thanks to the Lord, his love is everlasting.
R. Alleluia.
His command raised up a storm wind
which tossed its waves on high.
They mounted up to heaven; they sank to the depths;
their hearts melted away in their plight.
R. Give thanks to the Lord, his love is everlasting.
R. Alleluia.
They cried to the LORD in their distress;
from their straits he rescued them,
He hushed the storm to a gentle breeze,
and the billows of the sea were stilled.
R. Give thanks to the Lord, his love is everlasting.
R. Alleluia.
They rejoiced that they were calmed,
and he brought them to their desired haven.
Let them give thanks to the LORD for his kindness
and his wondrous deeds to the children of men.
R. Give thanks to the Lord, his love is everlasting.
R. Alleluia.

Reading II
2 Cor 5:14-17

Brothers and sisters:
The love of Christ impels us,
once we have come to the conviction that one died for all;
therefore, all have died.
He indeed died for all,
so that those who live might no longer live for themselves
but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

Consequently, from now on we regard no one according to the flesh;
even if we once knew Christ according to the flesh,
yet now we know him so no longer.
So whoever is in Christ is a new creation:
the old things have passed away;
behold, new things have come.

Mk 4:35-41

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


A reflection on today's Scripture:

The theme of our Scripture readings this Sunday might be stated as "overcoming fear through trust."

In the first reading, Job has lost his trust in God's justice because of his terrible afflictions, and he is about to demand that God give an explanation for treating His servant so unjustly. At that point, God speaks to Job "out of the storm," calming Job's anger, and reducing his complaining to silence. Today's reading gives us a mere fragment of a much longer speech in which God says to Job, "Gird up your loins like a man . . . will you condemn me that you may be justified?" Job, aware of his lack of trust in the Almighty, cries out, ". . . "I repent in dust and ashes!"

The setting of the Gospel is a violent storm on the Sea of Galilee. Even though Jesus is with them, asleep in the boat, they awaken Him in their great fear, and like Job, they reproach Him with the complaint, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" Jesus immediately calms the sea, and the storm ceases! Then He, in turn, rebukes His disciples for their lack of faith in His power.

The most reasonable human beings are afraid of storms. The people of New Orleans and surrounding areas have still not recovered from Hurricane Katrina. Even more frightening are the storms that beset us in the form of constant attacks on Americans by Islamic terrorists. We need to fear most of all the "storms" that are caused by those in our own society who systematically undermine the moral dignity of all life, and little by little are removing laws which were designed to protect the lives of the unborn and the helpless, and the consciences of religious people who seek to live by their faith.

God urges us this Sunday to stir up our faith in His power to bring right order and harmony to the disorderly times in which we live. There is nothing that a rocklike faith cannot overcome. And fear not! God is not asleep! He expects us first to calm the disorder in our souls. Then He, the Lord of the universe, can calm the fierce storms that are beyond our control.

On this Fathers' Day, we need to pray for all fathers whose roles reflect the protective and nourishing role of God Himself toward their children and their spouses. We pray that they will show firm and steady love, wise and understanding care always. We pray also for fathers who are deceased or absent, that we will always pray for them, and forgive them for any hurts we bear because of weakness or neglect on their parts. In turn, we pray that God will help them forgive us any neglect or lack of love we showed them while they were with us.

- Msgr. Paul Whitmore -

email: pwhitmore29@yahoo.com







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