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12th Sunday in OT (B)

Who can this be? MARK 4:26–34

By Felix Edinborough

This week’s gospel reading starts off: “With the coming of evening…”. This is the time of day when the light begins to fade, and we think of relaxing.

The story goes on to say: “Then it began to blow a gale and the waves were breaking into the boat so that it was almost swamped.”

When things are getting dark and we are on the point of relaxing, worse arrives. All this time Jesus was, “in the stern, his head on the cushion, asleep.” It is when they woke Him up that He calmed the storm: “And the wind dropped and all was calm again.”

He rebuked them saying: “How is it that you have no faith?” They, in turn, were awestruck and questioning: “Who can this be? Even the wind and the sea obey him.”

Stories and experiences similar to this may have occurred in your life. At times, we find things becoming dark, we say we are losing luck and worse happens; our boat of life becomes almost swamped, and we begin to panic.

What do we do at these times of dire stress? Do we let our boat keep on sinking, or do we wake up Jesus? Jesus Himself told us: “Ask, and it will be given to you…For the one who asks always receives…” (Mt 7:7).

For more than a year now, we have been battling with the Covid-19 pandemic and we are feeling the gale and the swamping of our boat. At the start of this scourge, like the disciples, we were drowning with fear and we felt our boat going down. It looked like Jesus was in the stern, His head on a cushion, asleep. We were not always able to go to church, but from our homes we began to call on Jesus asking Him, ‘Master do you not care?’. We participated in Masses and other spiritual devotions. And did He awaken?

We were longing for a vaccine to deliver us from our stormy seas, but we knew that it would be years before we could get one. That is what history told us. However, while we were battling the treacherous waves, we woke up Jesus in the stern with our daily prayers.

Eventually, we were informed that there will be a vaccine by the end of the year. Many could not believe and questioned ‘How could this be?’.  It is true that some are refusing to accept it, but the most important point is that, like God’s grace, it is available for us if we want it. We just have to ask.

If you take time to reflect on your life, you will realise that there have been times when your boat was buffeted by a storm and you were in distress wondering what to do.

It is at those times that the hand of the Lord, through some trusted friend or family, a teacher or a priest or nun was able to offer help. They were able to quell the threatening tempest.

First though, like in the gospel story, we have to wake Jesus by asking and we shall receive, for the one who asks the Lord always receives.



Lord, I thank You for all the people in my life who were able to calm the storm when waves were breaking into my boat, and it was almost swamped.

Thanks for answering my pleas by sending friends, parents, priests and nuns, leaders, teachers who were able to give me counsel, advice and what I needed to subdue the storm in my life.

I ask forgiveness for the times I was offered help but refused. I was too obstinate to make the effort and deliberately did what I knew was wrong. I am sorry.

Please send into my life trustworthy people who will assist me when I am in need. May I have friends and family, religious leaders who will give me guidance to steer my boat safely out of the hurricanes of my life.

I am asking this with confidence for like the disciples I know: ‘Even the wind and the sea obey him.’


The gospel meditations for June are by Felix Edinborough, a retired secondary school teacher and a parishioner of St Anthony’s, Petit Valley.