This theme of God’s mighty power is made clear in today’s gospel (Mark 4:35-17). The disciples of Jesus experienced that divine power in Jesus, and is acknowledged by St. Paul in his letter (2 Cor. 5:14-17). In today’s gospel the disciples encounter a serious crisis situation. Their boat is tossed by the windstorm, waves beat into the boat and the boat was already swamped. Jesus was sleeping in the same boat. The disciples woke him up. In their panic perhaps they were offended by Jesus apparent lack of concern. TEACHER, do you not care that we are perishing? What did they want Jesus to do? Share their fear and anxiety or to do something to save himself? Probably they were more concerned about their own safety – do you not care that WE are perishing? Certainly it is a hopeless panic situation. Jesus rebukes the wind and the sea and then rebukes the disciples for their lack of faith.
Sleeping is a human need. The disciples see the human Jesus as he was sleeping. They saw the divine Jesus as he calmed the storm. The first reading from Job and the gospel reveal that God is in control of the sea, storm and the whole universe. As with the disciples, the Lord asks each of us to cross to the other side, to leave behind our old ways and travel with him in the little ship of the Church.
It is impossible to avoid the storms of life. Terminal disease, a paralyzing accident, death in the family, broken relationship, abusive home life etc. are occasional storms in our life. We panic. We cry out. We question. The disciples did the same thing and Jesus was right there, sleeping through it all. Sometimes it seems like God is sleeping right through our difficult times. May we have the good sense and presence of mind to call out to the Lord our Savior.
The story also challenges us to trust in Christ’s power so that we can persevere through the storms that assail us. Call out to him, he will take control of the situation. It is only faith in his teaching and following him faithfully can save us from perishing. Be close to him. Keep in touch with him through prayer, scripture reading and Sacraments. He may be near to you when you look for him.