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Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time
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?”
Opening Prayer: Lord, thank you for this opportunity to contemplate your humanity as you sleep on a cushion. Help me to grow ever more in love with you.
- Exhausted from Preaching: Jesus had spent the whole day teaching the crowds in parables and, as evening drew on, he took his disciples “to the other side” in search of rest and solitude. He went “as he was,” tired, probably sweaty, maybe hungry, worn out. When the storm arose, Jesus was already fast asleep. Contemplating the Savior of the world, asleep in the stern of a boat, exhausted and spent from a good day in the mission field, can give us fresh insight into his humanity. He had separated himself from the others to seek out some rest. Before he drifted off to sleep in relative solitude, did he review his day with the Father? Did he wonder what Mary was up to? Had he been reliving childhood memories, or was he planning the next day? Did his mind wander to the cross, his Passion, the suffering? Was he thinking about each one of us? We cannot know the mind of Christ, but we can be sure that he knows ours—all of our concerns, our sufferings, and our joys. Let us quiet our minds, be still, and draw so near as to be comforted by the slow, steady breathing of our sleeping Savior.
- A Violent Squall: While Jesus slept, a storm tossed the boats violently, frightening even these seasoned fishermen. We are the “seasoned fishermen” of our era: followers of Christ with good formation, experienced in prayer and the spiritual life, and nurturing a personal relationship with our Redeemer. Yet, the stormy seas of our unpredictable and volatile culture sometimes threaten to capsize us. We know who to turn to for help. Do we plead with Jesus as his disciples did, full of fear? Or do we recall our formation and our personal experiences with Jesus in prayer, and approach him with confident trust, seeking miracles in desperate circumstances?
- Who Then Is This?: After Jesus quieted the storm, the panicked disciples found themselves in the midst of “great calm.” As they stood there, sopping wet, full of awe, and probably a bit overwhelmed and confused, questions arose in their hearts. “Who is this man?” they whispered to each other. In moments like these, when Christ has shown us his power and might through answered prayers, in a retreat experience, or a moment of personal prayer, our life is suddenly divided into “B.C.” and “A.D.” We ask ourselves life’s most important question, “Who is this man?” and by our answer become committed disciples.
Conversing with Christ: Lord, you have profoundly touched my life many times and I am now a witness of your almighty power to those in my life. When storms arise, help me to put any lingering doubts aside and come to you with confidence, remembering that you have shown yourself many times and I am your committed disciple.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will focus on the prayers that go unanswered day after day, and reaffirm my confidence in your almighty power to work miracles.
For Further Reflection: Pray Padre Pio’s Sacred Heart Novena Prayer:
O my Jesus, you have said: “Truly I say to you, ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you.” Behold I knock, I seek and ask for the grace of (here name your request). Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory Be … Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you. O my Jesus, you have said: “Truly I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.” Behold, in your name, I ask the Father for the grace of (here name your request). Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory Be … Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you. O my Jesus, you have said: “Truly I say to you, heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away.” Encouraged by your infallible words I now ask for the grace of (here name your request). Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory Be … Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you. O Sacred Heart of Jesus, for whom it is impossible not to have compassion on the afflicted, have pity on us miserable sinners and grant us the grace which we ask of you, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, your tender Mother and ours.”
Say the Hail, Holy Queen and add: “St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us.”
Written by Maribeth Harper.