Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)
The era of the Apostles was no different from our time today. People then worshiped stars, the human body and the unknown. They worshiped stars and worldly things as if they were solutions to problems and difficulties. They worshipped the human body as if it were the only pleasure in the world. The worshipped the unknown as if it would protect them from their fears. Today people worship technology, progress, wealth and power as if they will stay forever in this world.
God showed Job that He (God) was always in control of all things and was the refuge of people who humbly come to Him. He questioned Job:
Who shut within doors the sea, when it burst forth from the womb?… I set limits for it…. and said: Thus far shall you come but no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stilled!
God still shows us the same condition. We can also ask ourselves related questions. Has money solved the problems about money? Love of money is still the root of all evil. Did any bailout solve the problems of the economy? Consent to abuse of money and bailout have heightened the abuse of access to money. Have the popularization of contraception and the pro-choice movement and the legalization of abortion solved the problems of population and the rights of women and of the family? Popularization of contraception has only fostered promiscuity, and abortion has degraded man and woman into instruments of commerce and sexual abuse. Has the legalization of marriage of the same sex solved issues on constitutional rights? It has degraded the dignity of marriage. Have wars solved differences among nations? They have perpetuated killing of innocent people, made the production of weapons a lucrative business and made the strong more arrogant. (And many others.)
At all times the Word of God brought about order into the world. At creation the Word of God brought life to the world and to man. The Word of God stopped Abraham from killing his son as sacrifice to prove His fidelity, and promised him innumerable descendants. The Word of God broke the bonds of the Israelites and brought them out of Egypt. The Word of God split open the sea so that the Israelites could be liberated from the Egyptians. (And many more.) The Word of God was born to us at Bethlehem, performed miracles, healed the sick, raised the dead and promised eternal life to all who would remain faithful. In the Gospel today, the Word of Jesus calmed the sea and calmed the fear of His Disciples.
In our highly technological society, we need to learn to accept our fears and limitations and our dependence on God. Progress, technology and science are not gods. They crash. But we tend to see them as OUR creation and we become very dependent on them. They have become so attractive that they become for us the modern temptation of Adam and Eve who were seduced by the devil that they would become gods. Progress and technology have become imbedded in our lives, just as we glorify advertisements, movies and TV scripts, and other campaigns that idolize them. And as they crash, we also crash.
God continues to give us opportunities to recognize Him as God and to realize that we are creatures and should be dependent on Him. He gives us all the opportunities in our responsibilities and relationships, in hardships and trials, in aspirations and inspirations. Just like the Apostles in the boat, it is going to Jesus that we discover the greatness of our life and the power of His blessings. It is in being faithful to Him, despite the difficulties we experience, that we can calm the storms of our life. It is in our love for Jesus as we see Him in the light of His revelation of the Father that we can walk according to His ways.
In prayer, we come to Jesus, and Jesus comes to us and works in us and through us. It is the school where we learn the beauty and wisdom of God’s suffering for love of us. Prayer is an exercise that strengthens us in faith, hope and love for Him. Prayer also opens our hearts to the needy and the suffering, as they are instruments of our salvation. For at the last judgment, the Son of man will say: “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Mt 25:40).
We thank the Lord for the Eucharist, for He fills us with the power of His Words and the vitality of His Body and Blood, so that we are able to carry our crosses in life and face God in His glory.