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Homily, 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time and Father's Day

12th in Ordinary Time and Father's Day                                      

Job 38:1,8-11; 2 Corinthians 5:14-17; Mark 4:35-4

Most of us adults have experienced unsettling things that usually cause us to wonder and to question. We have all been faced with serious problems and bad situations. And we could see no way to emerge unscathed physically, emotionally, or spiritually. And then, someone or something unexpected, intervenes. We are delivered from harm, or the problem is resolved. We wonder “why?” and “how?” – safety came. But there are no adequate answers. There are other times when no one intervenes. We are forced to live in and through a terrible situation. There seems to be no escape, no favorable outcome! So, again, we wonder, and we question. And, again, our questions go unanswered!

The Book of Job teaches us that there are no answers for some things. Job was a good man who lived a praiseworthy life. But Job went through hell. His children had been killed, he was stricken with a horrible disease, everything he owned had been lost, and his friends had turned on him. His life’s reversal is incomprehensible and his suffering inconsolable. Job lashes out at God. God does not explain or defend what has happened to Job but offers him a new perspective. Without God, Job, nor any human on earth would have been able to live. If God had not tamed the waters when darkness had covered the abyss, life as we know it would not exist. Job’s life may feel like hell, but the entire world was an abyss until God spoke the words of creation. God’s word has power over the elements, even those that appear to overwhelm us. God’s thoughts, plans, and ways are always far beyond our limited human understanding. God sent His Son into the world to bring us redemption and salvation. Jesus came to reveal a God of Love. He came to help us understand a little of the unfathomable, but wonderful, ways of God.

The Gospel passage today shows the disciples in a chaotic and hopeless situation. Waves were breaking over the bow and filling the boat. They were going down and Jesus was asleep! They were terrified and in a state of utter panic. They awakened Jesus and questioned about his unconcern.  So, Jesus rebuked the storm as a sign of God’s power – and it ceased. Then, he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their lack of total trust in God. When their unexpected deliverance came instantaneously, all they could do was wonder and ask questions – just as we do so often ourselves.

Dear friends, because we live in a fallen world, things will continue to go wrong, and Satan’s evil will still exist. Nevertheless, we must never let panic overcome us. Although there is every reason to fear things at times, we do not have to be terrified. For even in the worst of times and in the worst of situations – God is still with us. God never abandons us, no matter how we have sinned or what we have become. The God who has power over all creation and sent the Son for our salvation will give us all we need to grow more deeply in faith. There are no answers for the mysteries of God and the mysteries of life during our time here. God has a plan that only slowly unfolds. He may allow Satan to work but God is always supreme, and storms have limits. However intense it might be, a storm will pass!

Until then, we must be grateful when God intervenes in an unexpected way in our lives. We must be faith-filled and trustful when the pain and the hardship persist. That is the power of the resurrection, the power that renders powerless whatever “death” we are currently suffering through. With the psalmist let us: “…Give thanks to the Lord, for his love and mercy endures forever.”

In a special way today, let us be grateful for:

  • Our fathers, by birth or adoption, who love us and support us through life.
  • Our Church leaders, who take on the paternal role of guiding us through life.
  • And God our Father, who will always teach justly and grant us boundless mercy.

Happy Father’s Day!



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