Sunday, June 21, 2009

Perfect Strikes

June 21, 2009
Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time
(Mark 4:35-41)

Jesus calms the storm
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?"
When my brother and I were very young, we used to be absolutely terrified of storms. During one particularly stormy and thunder-filled night, our mother calmed us by saying: "Huwag kayong matakot mga anak, wala yun, nag bo-boling lang si San Pedro sa langit!". (Translated: "Do not be afraid my children, it's just St. Peter playing a bowling game in the heavens!") Thereafter, when rumblings and thunderclaps occur, my brother and I just imagined St. Peter scoring a perfect strike somewhere up there. We were not afraid anymore.

In today's Gospel, Jesus was abruptly roused from his sound sleep by the terrified disciples. I can imagine that Jesus was far from a light mood (who wouldn't be?) after his sleep was unceremoniously interrupted by the panicking disciples. So, we wouldn't expect Jesus to play around by saying something like the Father was just playing some bowling game high above. Jesus took matters in his own hands by calming the storm himself. Then the wind ceased and there was great calm.

Jesus is not surprised of the disciples' fear of the storm, but he was surprised by their lack of faith. After all, prior to this incident with the storm, Jesus already showed His power by expelling demons and healing many illnesses. Now, they realize that even the wind and sea obey him. There can be no doubt about God's majesty and power over all. We realize that Jesus may be sleeping at the time, but he is still in full control - all the time.

When we encounter our own storms in our lives, we may sometimes feel that God is sleeping, and our private world is sinking. In reality, it is our faith that is slipping. When we trust in God, our faith calms our fears. God can calm all storms. If God allows the storm to rage, He will simply calm the person instead. We should never be afraid. God's power and justice always prevails, because He rolls perfect strikes.


petrufied said...

haha i was told that very same thing! San pedro bowling in heaven IS funny, i just wondered how a bowling ball could make that much noise rolling on a cloud. XD

aeisiel said...

Those thunder claps and lightning could be a hint of the events in heaven as described in the book of revelation, startling and intense, not a static tableau of boring fluffy clouds, for it is full of overwhelming lights and sounds cause by dynamic movement of saints and angels, of songs, of prayers, harps, incense, heavenly liturgy, and thunderous voices all in a constant interaction between the Creator and His faithful creation.

WillyJ said...

yeah :-) Here's more. I've seen St Peter portrayed holding a big key or a rooster, but to date I haven't seen him portrayed holding a bowling ball.

now that makes me go from fear, to serenity, and then to...awe. Indeed, God rolls perfect strikes.