A show of hands, ladies and gentlemen. Have any of you been given the silent treatment and had absolutely no idea why?
On the flipside, have any of you have sworn you’re not going to demean yourself by explaining, for the thousandth time, that you need extra help with the kids before soccer practice, or that you feel ignored when your spouse doesn’t ask how your day went?
But sadly, love doesn’t give you the ability to read minds. And in the end, we learn the lesson again and again, we have to verbalize our feelings, our needs, our wants. Expecting your partner to anticipate your needs is guaranteed to end badly.
It’s the same with God, even though, oddly enough, He does have the ability to read minds. But He still desires us to explain ourselves to Him, doesn’t He? “I’m feeling scared of this.” “I’m really worried about that.” “God, I think I need x, y and z. Help me. Please.”
Jesus slept on that boat, as it was tossed and turned by the waves, until his disciples woke him. “Why were you sleeping?” they ask. Well, geniuses, he was sleeping because they hadn’t woken him up yet. They had wasted time cowering in fear, waiting for him to act. They gave him the silent treatment and they didn’t even know it.
God doesn’t desire us to verbalize our needs as a way of keeping us submissive. He’s not that petty. What He desires is the communication — that’s what really counts. That act of opening yourself up, of becoming vulnerable, of relying on Him, trusting Him. If it feels like God is asleep in your life, ask yourself this, have you tried waking Him up?
— Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS ©LPi
June 20, 2021
Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time
As we look at our lives and world events, do we ever find ourselves wondering if God is sleeping? After all, maybe God’s patient, unconditional love has run its course and He is finally fed up with humanity’s reluctance to accept the truth about who we are. God really can’t be that patient! All throughout human history, many have prayed to God for intervention or for particular needs. Because their prayers were not answered in the way they wanted or anticipated, they felt that God may have abandoned them. Were they right? It seems that we are continuing, at a rapid rate, down a path of destruction. Do you not care, God, that we may be perishing? When the boats of our lives are rocking and the seas tumultuous, we want to know that we have God’s attention. Even more so, we want God’s intervention.
Maybe the storms and the waves are necessary. If we listen, they can teach us valuable lessons. Without them, we would never learn that we have the strength to endure, understand the uselessness of fear and worry, or develop the ability to really trust. If God immediately rushed in and simply calmed things down before they got difficult, what good would that really be? We would miss opportunities to learn how to drink more deeply of life, treasure its complexity, irony, and beauty and fully engage ourselves in surrendering to the love of our Creator. It is easy to walk on the surface of life without immersing ourselves in its messiness. Life has to burn its way through us in order to bring us to a place of secure trust. It’s unfortunate that some prefer a shallower journey.
That’s the balancing act that comes with faith. It is not God’s job to prevent us from encountering the torrential rains and winds of life. Many believe that if faith is done the right way, that God will provide for smooth sailing. That’s not how it works. God permits us to ride out the difficult stuff knowing that the storm will eventually be calmed. Do we not have faith that God will do this? True faith trusts in the steadfastness of God’s love when the seas are calm and when they are choppy. God’s unconditional loving presence shines through all of it and endures forever. Knowing this allows us to put our boats out into unchartered waters without hesitation. Knowing that we prefer the comfort and safety of what we know to be still waters, how do we feel when Jesus says, “Let us cross to the other side”?
Monday: Gn 12:1-9/Ps 33:12-13, 18-19, 20 and 22 /Mt 7:1-5
Tuesday: Gn 13:2, 5-18/Ps 15:2-3a, 3bc-4ab, 5 [1b]/Mt 7:6, 12-14
Wednesday: Gn 15:1-12, 17-18/Ps 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9 [8a]/Mt 7:15-20
Thursday: Is 49:1-6/Ps 139:1-3, 13-14, 14-15 [14a]/Acts 13:22-26/Lk 1:57-66, 80
Friday: Gn 17:1, 9-10, 15-22/Ps 128:1-2, 3, 4-5 /Mt 8:1-4
Saturday: Gn 18:1-15/Lk 1:46-47, 48-49, 50 and 53, 54-55 [cf. 54b]/Mt 8:5-17
The disciples of Jesus had a very scary night, because their faith was not very strong yet. They were crossing the sea in their boat, just as Jesus asked them to do, when a huge storm came up. Their boat was filling up with so much water they thought they would all die. When they woke Jesus up, he simply spoke to the wind and the waves, and the storm stopped completely. Now they were really scared. Who was Jesus, anyway? The wind and waves listened to him!
Dear God, sometimes I feel afraid, too. Help me to remember that you are stronger than any problem I have. Amen.
Something to Draw
Draw a picture of Jesus telling the wind and the waves to be quiet.
Mission for the Week
Sit down with your family, and read Mark 4:35-41 out loud. Then talk about the things you are afraid of. Pray to God, ask for help, and believe that God is stronger than any problem you have.
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Much of the book of Job addresses the mystery of suffering and God’s role in human affairs. Today we hear part of God’s response to Job’s questioning with images of the sea and raging waters, representing God’s power and omniscience.
What helps remind you it is God who governs the universe with purpose and fidelity?
Paul encouraged the Corinthians to have the conviction of faith that since Christ died for all, believers should now live for him. In doing so, we become a “new creation.”
How have you seen this happen in your life as a person of faith?
Early in their following of Jesus, the disciples’ witness of the miracle of Jesus calming the storm at sea led them to ask:
“Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?” How would you explain to others who wonder about the divinity of Jesus?
God already has the solution.