REFLECTION/HOMILY FOR THE TWELFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR B

TRUSTING IN GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY AMIDST LIFE’S STORMS

First Reading: Job 38:1,8-11
Responsorial Psalm: Ps. 106(107):23-26,28-32
Second reading: 2 Corinthians 5:14-17
Gospel Reading: Mark 4:35-41
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The song “The Storm Is Over Now” by R. Kelly, released in 2000, conveys a powerful message of overcoming adversity and finding hope after difficult times. In that song, R. Kelly sings about relief and gratitude for the end of hardship, emphasizing themes of endurance and renewal. The lyrics describe emerging from a chaotic phase, symbolized by a storm, and looking forward to a brighter future. This song, which reflects his personal journey and serves as an inspirational anthem for anyone who has faced and conquered significant challenges, can serve as a point of departure for all of us in the midst of life’s storms, trusting in the omnipotence of God, for He alone has power to calm whatever stormy situation we experience or shall experience, and that there is always light at the end of the tunnel, as reflected in this Sunday’s readings.

Leaping from the First Reading taken from the Book of Job (cf. Job 38:1, 8-11), we are reassured that God is in charge, even when circumstances seem overwhelming. The Book of Job is one of the wisdom writings in the Hebrew Bible, which grapples with deep questions about suffering, justice, and the nature of God. In this book, we see Job, a righteous man, undergoing an immense and chaotic stormy experience in his life and family, his prompting a series of dialogues with his friends and a climactic encounter with God. The book reflects the limitations of human understanding and the mystery of God’s ways. Today’s text describes God responding to Job for the first time from the whirlwind, illustrating His sovereignty and control over creation. This passage illustrates God’s ultimate authority and invites us to trust in His wisdom amidst life’s storms. The term “whirlwind” (סְעָרָה – se’arah) captures the overwhelming and incomprehensible nature of God’s power over creation. Meanwhile, “sea” (יָם – yam) often represents chaotic forces in ancient Near Eastern literature, and God’s command over it signifies His control over all turmoil. The bounds (גְּבוּל – gevul) God sets for the sea highlight His authority in defining and controlling the natural world. Thus, we are called to trust God in the midst of life’s storms, recognizing His sovereignty and submitting to His divine wisdom because He sets boundaries for the sea, reflecting His omnipotence and order over chaos. Despite our limited understanding, God’s omnipotence ensures that He sets boundaries for chaos and maintains order. Our suffering, like the sea’s tumult, is under His command.

In consonance, the Responsorial Psalm (cf. Ps. 106(107):23-26, 28-32) complements this message by celebrating God’s enduring love and His power to calm the storms. The psalm recounts how sailors, distressed by a fierce storm, cried out to the Lord, who stilled the storm and brought them to safety. This reminds us that God’s love endures forever and that He is always ready to rescue us from our distress. His power to calm the stormy seas testifies to His ability to bring peace and order into our lives, reinforcing the lesson from Job that we can trust in God’s omnipotence and His care for us in times of trouble.

God’s intervention in the midst of life’s storms becomes concretized in the Gospel Reading according to Mark (cf. Mark 4:35-41). The Gospel of Mark is one of the Synoptic Gospels, distinguished by its concise, action-driven narrative that reveals Jesus’ miracles and authority more than his teachings. Mark’s account is vivid and direct, often highlighting the immediacy and urgency of Jesus’ mission. In today’s Gospel text, Jesus demonstrates His divine authority over nature. In this passage, the term “storm of wind” (λαῖλαψ – lailaps) signifies a sudden and violent squall, symbolizing chaos and danger. Jesus’ command or his use of the imperative verbs “Peace! Be still!” (σιώπα, πεφίμωσο – siopa, pephimoso) signifies an immediate and commanding action that results in the cessation of the storm, demonstrating His control over the natural elements, much like God’s authority over the sea and other natural forces in the First Reading (cf. Job 38:1, 8-11). The disciples’ lack of faith (πίστις – pistis) is rebuked by Jesus, who encourages trust in His divine power, reinforcing the lesson that God is in control of all situations, regardless of the turbulence we face. This passage, like God’s control over the sea in Job’s situation, demonstrates divine sovereignty and the necessity of faith in God’s omnipotence, reassuring us that Jesus is always in control, even amidst life’s storms. His presence and authority bring peace and calm, reminding us to have faith in His omnipotence.

In the light of trusting in God’s intervention and his power to transform us even in life’s storm, St. Paul encourages us in the Second Reading from his second letter to the Corinthians (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:14-17). The context of 2 Corinthians involves Paul addressing the Corinthian church to defend his apostolic authority, encourage reconciliation, and provide guidance on Christian living. It was written around AD 55-57, likely from Macedonia. The overall message of 2 Corinthians focuses on the themes of reconciliation, the nature of apostolic ministry, the new covenant in Christ, and the power of God manifested in human weakness. In today’s text, Paul says: “The love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore, all have died. And he died for all, that those who live might live no longer for themselves but for him who for their sake, died and was raised…” The Greek “συνέχει” (synechei) from the verb “συνέχω,” (synecho), which means “to hold together,” “to constrain,” “to compel” or “to urge” (as used in today’s text) is in the third person singular, present active indicative form, which describes an ongoing action performed by a singular subject. It indicates that the love of Christ continuously compels or urges (acts upon) the believers. The singular form is used here to emphasize the singular, powerful force of Christ’s love exerting influence over them, indicating a continuous action. The verb implies a strong influence or control over someone or something. This explains why Paul further states, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” The term “καινὴ κτίσις” (kainē ktisis) for “new creation” illustrates the complete renewal and change we undergo through Christ. Just as Jesus calms the storm in today’s gospel reading, His powerful love and authority in our lives bring peace, renewal and new life to all who believes.

Dear friends in Christ, the calming of the storm and the declaration of a new creation in Christ reassure us of His control over all situations, encouraging us to trust in His power and embrace the new life He offers. Let us continue to have faith in Jesus’ authority and to recognize that in Him, “the old has passed away, behold, the new has come,” and that “after the storm comes the sunshine.” This renewal through Christ empowers us to live transformed lives, confident in His presence and sovereignty amidst any storm. The message is clear: no matter how fierce the storm, God’s love and omnipotence will see us through, leading us to a place of calm and transformation.

Shalom!
© Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ
Seminário Padre Pedro Magnone, São Paulo, Brazil
nozickcjoe@gmail.com / fadacjay@gmail.com

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Chinaka Justin Mbaeri

A staunch Roman Catholic and an Apologist of the Christian faith. More about him here.

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Ogbankwa Ann
Ogbankwa Ann
26 days ago

Yes, I am so enriched and also reminded of my trust in God in all circumstances especially in my present condition. Thank you Jesus for your consoling words.

Okereafor Nkechi Valentina
Okereafor Nkechi Valentina
26 days ago

AMEN!!!
Thank you Padre, i believed in my heart that actually the storms in my life are over.
Once again thank you.

Erinoso, Peter Taiwo
Erinoso, Peter Taiwo
26 days ago

Amen. Be blessed Father.

Emeka Odugu
Emeka Odugu
25 days ago

Lord, may we abide by the empowerment you bestowed upon us to live tranformed lives so that at any point in time, we will be ready to withstand the storm no matter how fierce it could be. Amen!

Thanks Fr Chinaka for the beautiful homily.

Ezeugwu Eucharia #G6sssa3 Done
Ezeugwu Eucharia #G6sssa3 Done
25 days ago

Thanks alot Fr. for today’s reflection.

Okereafor Nkechi Valentina
Okereafor Nkechi Valentina
23 days ago

Thanks Padre for this inspiring homily, may God give you unction to function in Jesus name amen.

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