12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

In today’s Gospel we hear a prayer that has become a part of the Christian arsenal: the prayer of the scared. It is the prayer that tells Our Lord that we’re going under and we don’t understand why he is not doing anything about it when his reputation is going under too, at least in our eyes. In those prayers of the scared we must not forget what happened in today’s Gospel: the danger evaporated and Our Lord showed once again that he is not just our “teacher,” but God, master over all of Creation. He also reminds us of his mastery in today’s First Reading, which is an excerpt from his reply to Job’s chapters of angst and questioning over the trial he was undergoing. Sometimes we expect God’s response and attitude to be just as hysterical as our own, but Jesus responds forthrightly and simply today: the storm is quelled with a few words and the disciples are told that they’re overreacting and lack faith in him.

The disciples, amazed by what happened, ask themselves whether they really knew who Jesus was at all after witnessing a display of such power. We know people by what they do and what they can do, and even though the disciples didn’t have enough faith, Jesus helped them. Faith helps us to more profoundly understand who God is, and that also helps us in those moments where it seems the only faith we muster is squeezed out of us by circumstances that call for the prayer of the scared as an act of desperation. If we strive to live an attitude of faith and a prayer life beyond the occasional prayer of the scared when things get tough, we’ll find we weather our personal storms better in the future and also grow in trusting Our Lord.

Let’s ask Our Lord today to help us grow in faith and a deeper and richer prayer life.

Readings: Job 38:1, 8–11; Psalm 107:23–26, 28–31; 2 Corinthians 5:14–17; Mark 4:35–41.