Sunday, 20 June 2021 : Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this Sunday we are all reminded that we should put our trust in the Lord and not to let fear to cloud our judgment or mislead us down the wrong path. We should trust in the Lord and how in Him alone we can gain true assurance and true hope, and through Him, we shall never be disappointed or need to be afraid anymore, as He is always with us, by our side, and He has always watched over us, and in Him we shall find succour and true joy in life.

In our first reading today, we heard from the Book of Job, God’s words to Job stating how all things, even the mighty roaring waves and all sorts of forces of nature have a limit, and God has power over all of them delineating what each and every things in nature can do, and manages the scope of their appearance and influence. Contextually, this conversation between God and Job came to be because Job, who was God’s faithful servant, encountered great misfortune as many of us would have been familiar with his story.

Job remained firm in his faith despite the efforts of the devil who tried to test him, tempt him and coerce him through his misfortunes and sufferings in order to make him abandon the Lord. He did not blame God but he did wonder and ask the Lord why he had to suffer all that he had suffered, and in fact, blamed himself for his misfortune. And thus, for most of the Book of Job, the Lord brought him to a journey of discovery, as He revealed Himself to be in charge of everything, and how there are just so many things that are beyond our control and power.

But that is also exactly why we are all so fortunate that the Lord is always by our side and we always have Him loving us and caring for us. The Lord has always given us His attention and love at all times because we are His beloved ones, and we are precious to Him. The Lord has always put us as a priority, for after all, did He not give us the best and most ultimate gift of all gifts, by giving us His own Beloved Son, to be our Lord and Saviour. He gave it all for our sake that through His Son, we may find our way to eternal life and salvation in Him.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, that is why as we recall what we have just heard in our Scripture readings today, we are all called to look at the Lord and put our trust in Him. For just as He has reassured His disciples and shown His might before all of them, we too should put our trust in Him. We should not be afraid of those obstacles, trials and challenges that we encounter throughout our lives, just as those disciples should not be afraid of the threats that the waves and the wind brought to them.

The Lord was in the boat together with His disciples, who were all representative of all of us, and the boat itself symbolises the Church. The great waves and the wind facing the boat, which threatened to sink the boat in fact represent the difficulties and challenges that are facing us in this world, in our path of life, facing us be it as individuals or as the Church of God together. But we should not be afraid because the Lord is with us, just as He was with His disciples, which symbolises His union with the Church and His presence in our midst.

We should not be afraid like those disciples who feared for their lives and doubted the Lord. They allowed their fears and uncertainties to sway their hearts and minds, that they lost faith in the Lord and failed to trust in Him, when they though that their end surely had come. The Lord hence chastised them and reminded them to keep faith and to trust in Him, as He calmed the wind and rebuked the waves, just as He has once reassured and reminded Job, that all things are under God’s control and power, and as long as we trust in Him, we have nothing to fear at all.

Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, are we going to entrust ourselves to Him and believe in Him, or are we going to allow fear and worldly concerns to affect us and to lead us down the path to ruin? Let us all keep this in mind as we discern the path that we are going to take forward in life and also as one Church, one Body of all the believers in Christ. Let us all stay firm in our faith and commitment to the Lord, and not to abandon Him or the Church, for if we abandon Him for false leads of safety and false hope, then we surely shall perish, just as those who jump off the boat in the storm will surely drown and sink.

Let us hence renew our faith in the Lord and strive to love Him just as much as He has loved us first. God has been so generous in loving us and caring for us all these time, all along. If He has loved us so patiently despite all of our stubborn refusal to follow Him and even our betrayals and infidelities, then we should appreciate how beloved we are and strive to return Him the same love that we should have given Him. Let us all grow together in our faith and love, and commit ourselves anew to the Lord with a new zealous faith from now on.

May the Lord be with us and may He guide and lead us down the right path, and give us the courage and strength to walk down this path faithfully, each and every moments of our lives. May God bless us all in our every good works, efforts and endeavours, and may He help us to love Him more and more and trust in Him in all things. Amen.

Sunday, 20 June 2021 : Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Mark 4 : 35-41

At that time, on that same day, when evening had come, Jesus said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.”

So they left the crowd, and took Him away in the boat He had been sitting in, and other boats set out with Him. Then a storm gathered and it began to blow a gale. The waves spilled over into the boat, so that it was soon filled with water. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion.

They woke Him up, and said, “Master, do You not care if we drown?” And rising up, Jesus rebuked the wind, and ordered the sea, “Quiet now! Be still!” The wind dropped, and there was a great calm. Then Jesus said to them, “Why are you so frightened? Do you still have no faith?”

But they were terrified, and they said to one another, “Who can this be? Even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

Sunday, 20 June 2021 : Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

2 Corinthians 5 : 14-17

Indeed, the love of Christ holds us, and we realise, that, if He died for all, all have died. He died for all, so, that, those who live, may live no longer for themselves, but for Him, Who died, and rose again for them. And so, from now on, we do not regard anyone from a human point of view; and even if we once knew Christ personally, we should now regard Him in another way.

For that same reason, the one who is in Christ is a new creature. For him, the old things have passed away; a new world has come.

Sunday, 20 June 2021 : Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Psalm 106 : 23-24, 25-26, 28-29, 30-31

Those who went to the sea in ships, merchants on the mighty waters, saw the marvels of YHVH, His wonderful deeds in the deep.

For He spoke and stirred up a storm, whipping up the waves of the sea. Flung upward and plunged to the depths, they lost courage in the ordeal.

Then they cried to YHVH in anguish; and He rescued them from their distress. He stilled the storm to a gentle breeze and hushed the billows, to silent waves.

How glad they were! He brought them safe and sound to the port where they were bound. Let them thank YHVH for His love and wondrous deeds for humans.

Sunday, 20 June 2021 : Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Job 38 : 1, 8-11

Then YHVH answered Job out of the storm : “Who shut the sea behind closed doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling clothes; when I set its limits with doors and bars in place, when I said, ‘You will not go beyond these bounds; here is where your proud waves must halt?’”