Cycle B 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Job 38:1-4, 8-11; 2 Cor. 5:14-17; Mk. 4:35-41

"When evening had come, Jesus said to his disciples, 'Let us go across to the other side.' And leaving the crowd behind, they took Jesus with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But Jesus was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, 'Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?' He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, 'Peace! Be still!' Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead clam.

This passage speaks profoundly about faith.  Here we witness the extraordinary event where Jesus calms a storm. This passage is not just a testament to Jesus' divine power but also a poignant reminder of the nature and necessity of faith.

In the days of Jesus, the sea was frequently perceived as the dwelling place of the forces of evil. Manifesting control over the sea was a sign of Divine power. This truth is learned from the Book of Psalms where we read, "O Lord God of hosts, who is as

mighty as you, O Lord? Your faithfulness surrounds you. You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, you still them." [Ps. 89:8-9] Regarding the exodus from Egypt, it states, "Yet he saved them for his name's sake, so that he might make known his mighty power. He rebuked the Red Sea, and it became dry; he led them through the deep as through a desert." [Ps. 106:8-9; Is. 51:9-10] Therefore, the disciples associated the actions of the Lord Jesus as a power that only belonged to God. 

Three great men in the Bible with unwavering faith are Abraham, Moses and David. God called Abraham to leave his homeland and journey to an unknown land, Abraham's faith did not waver. His trust in God's promise that he would become the father of many nations is a foundational example of unwavering faith (Genesis 12:1-4, 15:6).

 Leading the Israelites out of Egypt, Moses faced numerous challenges. Yet, he remained steadfast, trusting God's guidance through plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, and their journey in the wilderness (Exodus 14:13-16, 33:14).

As a young shepherd boy facing Goliath, David's faith in God was unshakeable. He proclaimed, "The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine" (1 Samuel 17:37).

In our own lives, we see examples of faith in the everyday actions of people around us. Consider the parents who, despite financial struggles, continue to provide and care for their children, trusting that God will make a way. Or the individuals battling severe illnesses who maintain a hopeful and positive spirit, trusting in God's plan for their lives.

One of the most touching real-life examples of faith is the story of Horatio Spafford and the hymn "It Is Well with My Soul."

Horatio Gates Spafford was a successful lawyer and businessman in Chicago. He had a loving wife, Anna, and five children. In 1871, their young son died of pneumonia. Later that same year, much of Spafford's real estate investments were destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire.


Despite these tragic events, the Spafford family continued to put their faith in God. In 1873, the Spaffords planned to travel to Europe, partly to help with D.L. Moody's evangelistic campaigns there and partly for a family vacation. Due to a last-minute business issue, Horatio stayed behind while Anna and their four daughters—Annie, Maggie, Bessie, and Tanetta—traveled ahead on the S.S. Ville du Havre.

Tragically, the ship collided with another vessel and sank rapidly. Anna survived, but all four of their daughters drowned. Upon reaching land, Anna sent Horatio a telegram with the heartbreaking message, "Saved alone. What shall I do?"

Horatio immediately set sail for England to join his grieving wife. During the voyage, the ship passed near the place where his daughters had perished. Inspired by this profound and tragic event, Horatio penned the words to the hymn "It Is Well with My Soul."

The first verse of the hymn is particularly heart breaking:

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll;

Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,

It is well, it is well with my soul.


Horatio Spafford's story is a powerful testament to the strength of faith in the midst of profound grief. His ability to find solace in God's presence and to declare "It is well with my soul" after such immense personal loss is an extraordinary example of unwavering faith.

This story reminds us that faith is not about living a life free from pain and suffering but about finding peace and trust in God amidst life's greatest trials. Horatio's faith did not remove his pain, but it gave him the strength to endure and find a profound sense of peace that surpassed his understanding.

In our world today, the presence of evil is undeniable. We witness it in various forms—violence, injustice, corruption, and suffering. These manifestations of evil often shake our sense of security and challenge our understanding of humanity. Natural disasters, diseases, and personal tragedies add another layer to our struggle, making us question why such suffering exists. The pervasive presence of evil can lead to despair and a sense of hopelessness, undermining our confidence in a just and benevolent world. It is in these moments of darkness that the significance of faith becomes profoundly evident.

Faith provides us with a lens through which we can view the presence of evil not as a definitive end, but as part of a larger, incomprehensible plan. It acts as a source of inner strength, enabling us to endure and rise above the adversities we face. Faith encourages us to believe in the inherent goodness of people and the possibility of redemption and change. It fosters resilience and hope, reminding us that love, compassion, and justice can prevail even in the face of overwhelming evil. Through faith, we find the courage to confront and combat the darkness around us, holding onto the belief that light will ultimately triumph.

A Modern Short Story on Faith is "The Light Within"

Emily sat alone in the hospital room; her eyes fixed on the monitors that beeped steadily next to her daughter’s bed. At 35, Emily was a single mother, juggling two jobs to make ends meet. Her life had been a series of uphill battles, but nothing compared to the fight they were facing now. Her ten-year-old daughter, Lily, had been diagnosed with leukemia six months ago.

Despite the aggressive treatments, Lily’s condition had not improved. The doctors were losing hope, and so was Emily. She felt her faith slipping away, replaced by a suffocating fear and helplessness. Every night, she prayed for a miracle, but each morning brought the same grim reality.

One night, as Emily held Lily’s hand, she whispered, “We’re going to get through this, my sweet girl. We’re going to be okay.”

The next day, Emily brought books and games to the hospital. She read stories to Lily, and they played board games together. She filled the room with laughter, refusing to let despair take over. Emily also began to reconnect with her faith, praying not just for a miracle, but for strength, peace, and the ability to cherish every moment with her daughter.

Months passed, and although the journey was still incredibly tough, Emily noticed a change. Lily’s condition began to stabilize. The doctors started to express optimism. 

Months turned into years, and Lily continued to improve. She eventually went into remission, astonishing everyone with her recovery. Emily’s faith had been tested in ways she never imagined, but it had also been renewed and strengthened.

Emily realized that faith is not about knowing the future but trusting in the journey. It’s about finding light in the darkest times and holding onto it with all your might. And sometimes, that light can illuminate the path to miracles.

"The Light Within" is a testament to the power of faith and positivity. Emily’s story reminds us that faith can sustain us through life’s most challenging moments and that miracles can happen when we least expect them. By believing in the possibility of a better tomorrow and finding joy in the present, we can overcome even the greatest obstacles.

In the face of life's storms and the pervasive presence of evil, faith stands as our guiding light and source of strength. From the unwavering faith of the disciples in the midst of a tempest, to the real-life example of Horatio Spafford's resilience, to the legendary faith of Our forefathers, we see that faith has the power to transform despair into hope and trials into testimonies. Each of these stories teaches us that faith is not about the absence of difficulties but about trusting in a higher power and a greater purpose, even when the path is unclear.

Let us remember that, like the disciples who marveled at Jesus calming the storm, we too can find peace in the midst of chaos by trusting in God's presence and promises. Whether through persistent prayer, unwavering commitment to our values, or the quiet strength found in the depths of our souls, faith empowers us to overcome adversity and find light in the darkest of times. May our faith be our anchor, our refuge, and our guide, leading us through every trial with hope and assurance that we are never alone.