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Gospel reflection

June 20, 2021: Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Gospel Reading

Mark 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?”


The Sea of Galilee, like life, is prone to sudden storms. Some storms can become violent and life threatening, others build and brew. On this evening, the storm that came upon them proved to be more than the seasoned fishermen could handle. They genuinely feared for their lives.

As disciples who witnessed many a miracle, they should have known who to turn to before the situation got so bad, but they didn’t. When they finally woke Jesus up, they didn’t ask for help, instead they accused him of not caring. Of course he cared – he was in the boat with them.

Jesus’ words: “Quiet! Be still!” were aimed not only at the chaos of the storm but were also meant to calm his disciples. And yet, amidst the “great calm” that followed, they were still terrified – terrified of the power of God in Jesus. He didn’t admonish them for their legitimate fear during the storm. He admonished them for “not yet” having faith in him. In time, we know they would.


This week, take some time to put aside whatever is going on in your life and just be “Quiet! Be still!” Let the peace that allowed Jesus to sleep amidst the storm surround you.

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Sara Bennett

Sara is a Providence Associate and became acquainted with the Sisters of Providence while obtaining a master's in Pastoral Theology degree at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. She lives in Machesney Park, Illinois and currently provides a helping hand to folks who are homebound, facilitates a parish prayer group and is part of a group ministry that delivers food from her parish pantry to senior living facilities. Sara retired in 2015 after 30 years with The Boeing Company.

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