2ND SAMUEL 12: 1 – 7a, 10-17
In those days: The Lord sent Nathan to David. He came to him, and said to him, “There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds; but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children; it used to eat of his morsel, and drink from his cup, and lie in his bosom, and it was like a daughter to him. Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb, and prepared it for the man who had come to him.” Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die; and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.” Nathan said to David, “You are the man. Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes, and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly; but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.”’ David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child that is born to you shall die.” Then Nathan went to his house. And the LORD Struck the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and it became sick. David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in and lay all night upon the ground. And the elders of his house stood beside him, to raise him from the ground; but he would not, nor did he eat food with them.
The Word of the Lord.
Psalm 51: 12 – 17 (R.) 12a
R/. Create a pure heart for me, O God.
Create a pure heart for me, O God;
renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence;
take not your holy spirit from me. R/.
Restore in me the joy of your salvation;
sustain in me a willing spirit.
I will teach transgressors your ways,
that sinners may return to you. R/.
Rescue me from bloodshed,
O God, God of my salvation,
and then my tongue shall ring out your justice.
O Lord, open my lips
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise. R/.
John 3: 16.
God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son; that whoever believes in him should have eternal life. Alleluia.
MARK 4: 35 – 41
On that day, when evening had come, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them, just as he was, in the boat. And other boats were with him. And a great storm of wind arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care if we perish?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” And they were filled with awe, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?”
The Gospel of the Lord.
REFLECTION: Calming the Sea
January 29, 2022
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. (Mark 4:38-39)
And there was great calm! Though this is a reference to the quieting of the sea, it is also a message spoken about the turmoil we face at times in life. Jesus wants to bring great calm to our lives.
It’s so very easy to get discouraged in life. It’s so very easy to focus in on the chaos that is all around us. Be it a harsh and biting word from another, a family problem, civil unrest, financial concerns, etc., there are plenty of reasons for each one of us to fall into the trap of fear, frustration, depression and anxiety.
But it was for this reason that Jesus allowed this event to take place with His disciples. He got into the boat with His disciples and allowed them to experience a fierce storm while He slept, so that He could bring from this experience a clear and convincing message to us all.
In this story, the disciples focused in on one thing: They were perishing! The sea was tossing them and they feared imminent disaster. But through it all, Jesus was there sound asleep, waiting for them to wake Him. And when they woke Him, He took control of the storm and brought perfect calm.
The same is true in our lives. We are so easily rattled by the stresses and difficulties of daily life. We so often allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by problems we face. The key is to turn our eyes to Jesus. See Him there, before you, sleeping and waiting for you to rouse Him. He is always there, always waiting, always ready.
Waking our Lord is as simple as turning our eyes from the stormy sea and trusting in His divine presence. It’s all about trust. Total and unyielding trust. Do you trust Him?
Reflect, today, upon that which causes you daily anxiety, fear or confusion. What is it that appears to be tossing you here and there causing you stress and worry? As you see this burden, see also Jesus there with you, waiting for you to come to Him in trust so that He can take control of every situation in life in which you find yourself. He loves you and will indeed take care of you.
My sleeping Lord, I turn to You in the midst of the challenges of life and desire to rouse You to come to my aid. I know You are always near, waiting for me to trust You in all things. Help me to turn my eyes to You and to have faith in Your perfect love for me. Jesus, I trust in You.