Cycle (B) 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 Job 3:1, 8-11; 2 Cor 5:14-17; Mk 4:35-41

Once a man approached a Guru, and said that he wanted to be his disciple and learn from him. The Guru asked him, "Who are you?" He replied, "I am Peter." The Guru said, "That is your name. But who are you?" He said, "I am an engineer." The Guru said, "That is your profession. But who are you?" He said, "I am a man." The Guru said, "That is your gender. But who are you?" The man said, "I do not know." It happens in our lives too. We do not know who we are. 

The Gospel says that in the evening Jesus was crossing the lake in a boat with his disciples. Then it began to blow a gale and the waves were

breaking into the boat so that it was almost swamped….. The disciples cried, "Master we are going down." This is the common complaint of most of us when we are under trial. Our faith in us falters. Our faith in Jesus falters, and we start doubting about it.

Jesus used just four simple words to calm the wind and the waves. "Quiet now! Be calm!" The rebuke is meant for us too; we must believe in ourselves; we must understand the potential that God has given to us; we must show our absolute trust and faith in Jesus.

Our history has a lot of stories of people who refused to give up and showed extraordinary courage in times of trials.

A schoolboy, Steven Thorpe, was travelling in a Rover with two friends in February 2008 when a stray horse ran into the path of the car in front of them.

His friend Matthew Jones, 18, was killed in the accident. Steven suffered serious injuries to his face, head and arm, and was declared brain dead two days later.

But Steven Thorpe's parents refused to give up hope – despite four specialists declaring that the 17-year-old was brain dead.

Convinced they saw a 'flicker' of life as Steven lay in a coma, John and Janet Thorpe rejected advice to switch off his life support machine.

They begged for another opinion – and it was a decision that saved him.

A neurosurgeon found faint signs of brain activity and two weeks later, Steven woke from his coma. Within seven weeks, he had left hospital.

In times of trouble the parents were just calm, and refused to give up.

The story of athlete Glenn Cunningham who was horribly burned in a schoolhouse fire at the age of 8 is amazing.

 The little country schoolhouse was heated by an old-fashioned, pot-bellied coal stove. A little boy had the job of coming to school early each day to start the fire and warm the room before his teacher and his classmates arrived

One morning they arrived to find the schoolhouse engulfed in flames. They dragged the unconscious little boy out of the flaming building more deadly than alive. He had major burns over the lower half of his body and was taken to a nearby county hospital.

From his bed the dreadfully burned, semi-conscious little boy faintly heard the doctor talking to his mother. The doctor told his mother that her son would surely die – which was for the best, really – for the terrible fire had devastated the lower half of his body.

But the brave boy didn't want to die. He made up his mind that he would survive. Somehow, to the amazement of the physician, he did survive. When the mortal danger was past, he again heard the doctor and his mother speaking quietly. The mother was told that since the fire had destroyed so much flesh in the lower part of his body, it would almost be better if he had died, since he was doomed to be a lifetime cripple with no use at all of his lower limbs.

Once more the brave boy made up his mind. He would not be a cripple. He would walk. But unfortunately from the waist down, he had no motor ability. His thin legs just dangled there, all but lifeless.

Ultimately through his daily massages, his iron persistence and his resolute determination, he did develop the ability to stand up, then to walk haltingly, then to walk by himself – and then – to run.

Still later in Madison Square Garden this young man who was not expected to survive, who would surely never walk, who could never hope to run – this determined young man, Dr. Glenn Cunningham, ran the world's fastest mile

More than ever human race is falling under the grip of fear, that drains away all their abilities. We often do not know what we are, and what our abilities are. To the Apostles who were fear stricken Jesus said, "Quiet now! Be calm!".

This is the answer to our problems too. Face everything quietly. Never give up. Trust in us and trust in God. Make sure that Jesus is in our boat, in the boat of our soul, and in the boat of our house.

May God bless you.