The Catholic Accent Sunday Scripture Thursday, June 18, 2015 3 Jesus commands sea and sky, life and death henever I read today’s Gospel passage, I think of Katharina von Schlegel’s sublime hymn “Be Still My Soul.” Schlegel wrote, in part: Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake To guide the future, as He has the past. Thy hope, thy confi-dence let nothing shake; All now mysterious shall be bright at last. Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know His voice who ruled them while He dwelt Father below. If you have heard this Edward Mazich, OSB hymn, I imagine that you are as moved by it as I am. Through majestic language invoking images of nature, it reflects on how we entrust ourselves with deep faith to Jesus, whom we believe rules over life and death as much as he rules over the waves and winds. W June 21: 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time / Gospel reading: Mk 4:35-41 The response which Jesus finds among the disciples in the Gospel is quite different, however. He reproves them for their lack of faith. Although the sovereignty of God over creation is powerfully described in the readings from the book of Job and the respon-sorial Psalm, and Jesus is portrayed as the heir to this domain in the Gospel, the disciples remain fearful and unsure. Jesus himself seems frustrated by this, asking them: “Why are you terrified?” The key to resolving this fear and lack of understanding is found in today’s New Testament reading, where St. Paul tells us that we “are a new creation” (2 Cor 5:17). Yes, we indeed believe that God and Christ are sovereign over the forces of nature — we witness him rendering placid the turbulent waters of the Sea of Galilee. But, more importantly, we also believe that Christ came to an-nounce a kingdom that encompasses and includes this world, yet goes far beyond it. He came not to prove his dominion over the creation which he already mastered, but to transform it and make it entirely new. This is what the disciples in the boat did not yet comprehend, even as they marveled over Jesus’ com-mand of the winds and waves. They were struggling to reconcile his feat of taming the primordial forces of the deep with what they knew of the earthly order, not realizing that the true marvel that faith reveals to us is the kingdom of God which turns all earthly authority on its head and is powerful precisely in its weakness. Helping us to find our place in Christ’s new creation and to stand firm in faith, Paul tells us that in Christ “all have died” (2 Cor 5:14), and, therefore, we should regard ourselves no longer according to the flesh (no longer limited to the order of creation as we perceive it). Going further, Paul says that through our sacramental death with Christ, we have all been transformed into a new creation in him. We are a creation that shares in the beauty of the present world but which leads into and finds its abiding home in a realm which is not subject to the decay and woundedness that is a natural part of the life we know here below, and which has been re-made in the glorious image of the risen Lord. This is what the eyes of faith hold up before us, and this is what the disciples in the boat were not yet able to grasp. Christ’s power over sea and sky is impressive but pales in comparison to his command over life and death. As we stand in awe of the one “whom even wind and sea obey,” let us remember that it was in the waters, not of the Sea of Galilee, but of the baptismal font, that we first came to share in the death of Christ, that we might one day share in his life — he who “guides the future, as He has the past, and makes all now mysterious bright at last.” Father Edward is assistant pro-fessor of biblical languages, sacred Scripture and systematic theology at Saint Vincent Seminary. Our faith does not heal; Jesus heals June 28: 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time / Gospel reading: Mk 5:21-43 his week we come to the end of this section of Mark’s Gospel in which we hear numerous para-bles and incidents from the ministry of Jesus that demonstrate the power of Jesus and the importance of faith. This particular passage has a story within a story as it begins with the synagogue official asking Jesus to heal his daughter and includes the story of the woman with the hemorrhages who touches the gar-ment of Jesus and is healed. Both are full of images and lessons of the ministry and the Father power that comes forth Killian from Jesus. Loch, OSB In other Gospel ac-counts, Jesus does not seem to be popular with religious officials. Most of the time when they are mentioned in the Gospels, they come across as T adversaries of Jesus and not sup-porters of Jesus. Nicodemus, who is mentioned early in John’s Gospel, comes under the cover of darkness so as not to be noticed by others. In this Gospel we have Jairus, the synagogue official who is no doubt well known, coming to Jesus, who is surrounded by a crowd. He pleads to Jesus, “My daughter is at the point of death; please come and lay hands on her, that she may get well and live.” It was a plea from a desperate father who did not want to see his daughter die. It is the same plea made today by desperate fathers and mothers, broth-ers and sisters, sons and daughters, and so many others, for God to come and intervene in some serious and tragic situation. Jesus goes with Jairus to his home and on the way encounters the woman who has been suffering for 12 years. In a similar desperate act of faith, she reaches out and touches the garment of Jesus, and she is healed. Jesus knows that power has gone out from him and asks who touched him. When the women admits that it was she, Jesus says, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.” Jesus and Jairus continue their journey, but before they arrive, word reaches Jairus that his daughter is dead. He begins to send Jesus on his way, but Jesus insists on continuing and proclaims, “The child is not dead but asleep.” They reach the house that is now filled with mourners, and Jesus goes in and heals the girl. Accounts like these in which Jesus says, “Your faith has healed you,” can give the impression that it is our faith that heals. I have run into situations where parents with a gravely ill child sincerely prayed for healing, only to have the child die. At this point, someone tells them: “Your child died because you did not have enough faith. If you had true faith, your child would have been healed.” I am neither making up nor exaggerating remarks like this; I have heard them said numerous times. The point is this: It is not our faith that heals, it is Jesus who heals. Jesus lauds people for putting their faith in him. When we put our faith in Jesus, we are opening our hearts to his presence Jesus does not force himself into our lives — he comes when he is invited. Jairus invites Jesus to his home; the woman with the hemor-rhage reaches out to Jesus. Their faith led them to Jesus, and in both cases Jesus healed. Why some people are healed and others are not is a mystery, for we do not know the mind of God. We are called to have the faith to invite Jesus into our lives and allow his will to be done. Father Killian is a monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey and director of campus ministry at Saint Vincent College. Visit www.dioceseofgreensburg.org each week to read Scripture reflections by our diocesan priests and laypeople. The Chief Executive Officer and Publisher: The Most Rev. Lawrence E. 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