1633 Waverly Road | Pawleys Island, SC 29585

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Precious Blood

Pawleys Island

Pastor’s Corner:

Gospel Reflection for

The Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Picturing the Scene

To fully grasp the awesome power Christ displays in this Gospel scene, we need to activate our imagination. Few situations leave men so helpless and despairing as storms at sea. The Sea of Galilee, where the disciples were sailing in this case, is still known for the violence of its squalls, which arise and subside rapidly and unpredictably due to its peculiar geographical situation. It is located at the bottom of a long funnel created by rows of mountains to the north. Air traveling through the narrowing valley bursts 

onto the sea with the explosive force of a flash flood squeezed through a garden hose. In the midst of these gales, the potencies of nature unleash their full, terrifying violence, and human fragility is nakedly exposed.

This experience of utter helplessness is what today’s Psalm tries to express:

His command raised up a storm wind

which tossed its waves on high.

They mounted up to heaven; they sank to the depths;

their hearts melted away in their plight.

They cried to the Lord in their distress;

from their straits he rescued them,

he hushed the storm to a gentle breeze,

and the billows of the sea were stilled.

St. Mark makes it quite clear that the disciples, many of whom were fishermen by trade and familiar with boats and sea storms, feared for their lives.

So we can safely infer that this storm was no minor agitation.

That a mere word from the Lord reins in nature’s primeval brawn shocks the helpless fishermen even more than the stormy sea had frightened them just moments before. 

They had seen the Lord’s miracles, they had heard his wisdom, they had witnessed his power over the human heart.

But to see the most unruly powers 

that flow through the bowels of the universe submit like a well-trained golden retriever – this was a lordship they had not yet even conceived of; this is the lordship of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

(From ePriest , June 2024)