Job 38:1, 8-11
The Lord addressed Job out of the storm and said: Who shut within doors the sea, when it burst forth from the womb; when I made the clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling bands? When I set limits for it and fastened the bar of its door, and said: Thus far shall you come but no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stilled!
2 Corinthians 5:14-17
Brothers and sisters: The love of Christ impels us, once we have come to the conviction that one died for all; therefore, all have died. He indeed died for all, so that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. Consequently, from now on we regard no one according to the flesh; even if we once knew Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know him so no longer. So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.
Gospel Cycle Cycle B
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?”
Most of us don’t think about anyone having the capacity to change the weather or to control the physical environment simply by thinking about it or praying about it. Most of us are very much caught up in the scientific was of our present age. We can understand the surprise of the followers of Jesus when Jesus was able to control the storm and stop any danger.
These followers in the Gospel of Mark are Jewish people and would have immediately recognized that the person who could control nature must be God or at least a person very close to God. We who don’t come from that culture would immediately seek some other explanation of what was happening. It could have been simply a coincidence. It could mean that the weather was already changing and the person recognized that. It could mean that the person had some unusual insight. But it certainly would not mean, for most of us, that the person was God.
The readings today are given to us to make us think about God and about the role of God in our personal life and in the life of the world. The first reading, from the Book of Job, states clearly that God creates all things and creates the weather as well as the physical universe. Those who understand and accept the Book of Job as the Word of God will be able to understand the Gospel more easily than someone who does not believe and really doubts even the existence of a God.
The second reading is from the Second Letter to the Corinthians and states that for those who believe in Jesus as the Christ, as the Savior, all has changed and our understanding of the world will be very different from the person who does not believe. At one level, this is really apparent. If we believe in God, we are different from those who do not believe. If we believe that Jesus is God, we are even more difference from those who do not accept this reality.
The Gospel, today from Mark, is very clear when it questions us: Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey? If we accept the Gospel account that the wind and the sea obeyed Jesus, then we must answer this question. If we reject that the wind and the sea obeyed Jesus, then we are left without faith and without any belief that this Jesus has any special role.