Jesus miraculously saves the Apostles from drowning by calming a deathly storm on the Sea of Galilee. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Fortitude by seeking strength from Jesus Christ in the Spiritual Battle and by seeking the Fruits of Peace and Joy from the Holy Spirit so he can be comforted by the Spirit when Satan attacks Christ’s Holy Catholic Church.
12th Week in Ordinary time – Sunday – Cycle B – Mk 4:35-41
Continuing to form the Apostles, Jesus now tests them in a tumultuous rite of passage on the Sea of Galilee by which they will face with death and the reality of the Divinity of Jesus.
Despite having some who have fished for years on the Sea of Galilee, the Apostles are surprised and terrified by the great storm. The Greek words used to describe the storm (Mk 4:37 – λαῖλαψ, meaning “hurricane”; Mt 8:24 – σεισμός, meaning “earthquake”), imply a highly unusual and violent storm that threatens to swamp the sturdy fishing boat and drown the Apostles. Convinced death is near, they cry out, “Lord, save!” (Greek), which is the literal meaning of the Holy Name of Jesus (“God saves”).
Despite the cataclysmic ferocity of the storm, Jesus’ supernatural peace allows Him to sleep soundly (the only time the Gospels mention Jesus sleeping); perhaps He is exhausted from His grueling ministry. Jesus awakes and first attends to the most important, harshly rebuking the Apostles for their cowardice (δειλός, meaning “cowardly”) and for lacking faith. Then He turns and loudly rebukes the storm, using the same command He uses when exorcising demons, cryptically revealing that it is Satan who is using the storm to attack Him and the Apostles. The same “great calm” Jesus demonstrates while sleeping is suddenly manifested as He conforms Creation to His will. Having demonstrated His dominion through miraculous healings and casting out hordes of demons, Jesus further reveals His Divinity by asserting His absolute dominion over His Creation (and Satan). The Apostles are panicked and terrified by Jesus’ supernatural power and are left wondering about His identity.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be awed by Jesus, the Son of God: the mysterious Son of the Father, with the Father “since the beginning”, demonstrates the perfection of Faith (but Jesus neither needs or has faith, for He is one with the Father); He demonstrates absolute Peace despite a raging storm on the Sea of Galilee, a storm so savage that it drives seasoned fishermen to weep; Divine Power, He causes the violent and massive storm to simply disappear; Divine King and Protector, He protects His Apostles from the attacks of Satan; He Angrily and Harshly Rebukes the Apostles, calling them to Courage (a part of Fortitude) and Faith.
Seek the strength of Christ in the Spiritual Battle
Realize: Men, whether they understand it or not, are engaged in the Spiritual Battle, in which Satan attacks and destroys and Jesus protects and saves; there is no opting out, no sitting on the sidelines.
Believe: Reflect upon the Spiritual Battle (CCC 405, 407-409, 921, 1496, 2015, 2516, 2573, 2725, 2752).
Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Fortitude, help me build the Virtue of Fortitude so I can courageously engage in the Spiritual Battle, remain strong against Satan’s continual temptations, battle my own vices and sins, and endeavor to grow in holiness and better serve You and Your Holy Catholic Church.
Be comforted by the Spirit when Satan attacks the Church
Realize: Like the Apostle’s boat was battered on the Sea of Galilee, the Church sometimes appears to be floundering as Jesus peacefully sleeps. Like Satan attacks Jesus and the Apostles, Satan inspires some rebellious clergy to attack the Church by committing horrific crimes or proclaiming heretical ideas, creating scandal, confusion, and anxiety, and causing some to question the holiness of the Church.
Believe: Reflect upon the Church is Holy (CCC 823-829, 867).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Fruits of Peace and Joy so I can remain calm and faithful, knowing the Church remains Holy, despite the ongoing attacks by Satan.