Jesus, Storm Breaker and Storm Maker: Wednesday of Epiphany

Jesus, Storm Breaker and Storm Maker: Wednesday of Epiphany January 8, 2020

Hosanna in the highest! Storm into our hearts!

Jesus the Storm Breaker and Storm Maker
Jesus stops a storm in a work by J. Tissot. Brooklyn Museum / Public Domain.

Mark 6:44-52

After the five thousand had eaten and were satisfied,
Jesus made his disciples get into the boat
and precede him to the other side toward Bethsaida,
while he dismissed the crowd.
And when he had taken leave of them,
he went off to the mountain to pray.
When it was evening, the boat was far out on the sea
and he was alone on shore.
Then he saw that they were tossed about while rowing,
for the wind was against them.
About the fourth watch of the night,
he came toward them walking on the sea.
He meant to pass by them.
But when they saw him walking on the sea,
they thought it was a ghost and cried out.
They had all seen him and were terrified.
But at once he spoke with them,
“Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!”
He got into the boat with them and the wind died down.
They were completely astounded.
They
had not understood the incident of the loaves.
On the contrary, their hearts were hardened.

Here in the Year of the Lord 2020, we look on this Gospel scene already knowing the full truth that Jesus is God the Son. Furthermore, we confess that he rose bodily from the dead and ascended likewise into the invisible glory of heaven.

We know the disciples who got into the boat did not yet have our faith and knowledge. So then, we can appreciate that after seeing what Jesus did:

They were completely astounded.
They
had not understood the incident of the loaves.
On the contrary, their hearts were hardened.

However, perhaps we don’t appreciate our own need to recover a fresh and childlike openness to having Jesus leave us completely astounded.

Perhaps we forget that at times we also have not understood the meaning of everything Jesus does.

And, worst of all, we may be blind to moments when our own hearts were hardened.

This reading is from the Holy Gospel according to Mark. Mark’s Gospel preserves a memory that the disciples so poorly understood the person, identity, intentions, goals and teachings of Jesus.

Reading Mark’s Gospel, we do well to look humbly upon the disciples there as images of ourselves. We are disciples in need of heeding Jesus more closely.

Taking that stance of lowliness, we open ourselves afresh to letting Jesus storm our hearts and leave us completely astounded. Doing so frees us to see that we have not understood him. Perhaps we may even recognize that our hearts were hardened to what he has been doing in our sight all along, especially if we were born and raised in the Catholic boat.

That would be a good storm. Then the old Gospel might more fully come alive in our hearts, minds and deeds. Oh for such an epiphany!

Hosanna in the highest!
Storm into our hearts!


Dear Readers of “Turn. Love. Repeat.”
California where I reside had a new law go into effect on January 1. California Assembly Bill 5 forbids freelance writers, editors and photographers from providing more than 35 content submissions to a media organization per year unless the organization hires the freelancer as a salaried employee. Patheos is a media organization, and I am a freelancer. So now I must limit my posts to 35 per year, or 1 post about every 10 days. So as not to exceed my limit here at Patheos, I will post my “extra” pieces at my own blog, Monk Notes.


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