Daily Gospel Reflection: Saturday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time
Bishop Robert Barron
January 27, 2024
Saturday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Mk 4:35-41
On that day, as evening drew on, Jesus said to his disciples: "Let us cross to the other side." Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him. A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Quiet! Be still!" The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, "Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?" They were filled with great awe and said to one another, "Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?"
*United States Conference of Catholic
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in this wonderful story of the calming of the storm at sea, we witness the spiritual dynamics of fear and trust. Making their way across the lake, the disciples stand symbolically for all of us journeying through life. When they confront the mighty waves, they are immediately filled with terror. Similarly, when the trials and anxieties of life confront us, the first reaction is fear.
Jesus is “asleep on a cushion.” He stands for the divine power that is “asleep” within all of us. He symbolizes that divine energy that remains unaffected by the fear-storms generated by the grasping ego.
At a spiritual level, we see that this divine power successfully calms the waves: “He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Quiet! Be still!’”
This beautiful narrative suggests that if we but awaken to the presence of Christ within us, then we can withstand even the most frightening storms. When, at the close of the story, Jesus asks the bewildered disciples, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” he is wondering why they have not yet experienced the change of heart necessary for living in the kingdom of God.