Third Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: 2Sam 12:1-7a, 10-17
The LORD sent Nathan to David, and when he came to him, Nathan said: “Judge this case for me! In a certain town there were two men, one rich, the other poor. The rich man had flocks and herds in great numbers. But the poor man had nothing at all except one little ewe lamb that he had bought. He nourished her, and she grew up with him and his children. She shared the little food he had and drank from his cup and slept in his bosom. She was like a daughter to him. Now, the rich man received a visitor, but he would not take from his own flocks and herds to prepare a meal for the wayfarer who had come to him. Instead, he took the poor man’s ewe lamb and made a meal of it for his visitor.” David grew very angry with that man and said to him: “As the LORD lives, the man who has done this merits death! He shall restore the ewe lamb fourfold because he has done this and has had no pity.” Then Nathan said to David: “You are the man! Thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘The sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah to be your wife.’ Thus says the LORD: ‘I will bring evil upon you out of your own house. I will take your wives while you live to see it, and will give them to your neighbor. He shall lie with your wives in broad daylight. You have done this deed in secret, but I will bring it about in the presence of all Israel, and with the sun looking down.’” Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan answered David: “The LORD on his part has forgiven your sin: you shall not die. But since you have utterly spurned the LORD by this deed, the child born to you must surely die.” Then Nathan returned to his house. The LORD struck the child that the wife of Uriah had borne to David, and it became desperately ill. David besought God for the child. He kept a fast, retiring for the night to lie on the ground clothed in sackcloth. The elders of his house stood beside him urging him to rise from the ground; but he would not, nor would he take food with them.
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?”
DO YOU NOT CARE THAT WE ARE PERISHING?: In our first reading today we are presented with a sad episode about human weakness. Our human greed and pride, leads us to sin, just it does for the mighty David. When we do so, we cannot avoid God’s punishment, and like David, we need to repent. As we do so, may we cry like the Psalmist asking God to create in us a pure heart. In the Gospel, we also see human panic, and lack of trust in God. In our struggles and worldly obstructions, we fail to see the Emmanuel (God with us). We falsely think God is asleep (Ps 121:4). We are reminded of the reality which is that God is awaiting our plea. The richest among us is he who has God journeying with him in life. Let us trust in God, He will take care that we do not perish. Let us cooperate with Jesus.
Prayer: Lord, please stay with us.
DON’T BE GULLIBLE: Simon Sebag Montefiore draws up the outline of a bloody story of Jerusalem in the book ‘JERUSALEM the biography’. This seems less shocking after Nathan’s words to David, “You are the Man, the sword shall never depart from your house” (2 Sam 12: 10). David, once the favoured one of God finds himself in the grip of evil. Contrary to David, Jesus in the Gospel, asserts his mastery over the forces of evil that rule the sea. Beside a baffled group of disciples, he stands tall affirming His divine power over Satan. The disciples are filled with awe and say, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?” They appear numbed by fear of God close by. Meeting God at so close quarters is more than what they could take. Our case is not very different. Having to face God means having to go contrary to evil and being in front of his probing eyes. We meet God’s face among the needy and are called to respond as Jesus did. It does not serve any good that we become motionless in fear whenever we are meant to act in loving faith.
JESUS WAS IN THE STERN, ASLEEP ON A CUSHION: Can we believe that God is still in control when he seems far away! The truth in the story of the gospel today is, if the boat should go down because of the storm, Jesus would go down together with the disciples. They had no reason to complain: Teacher, do you not care! It is the truth in our own lives, when we suffer God suffers with us. Therefore, the words of Jesus to the wind are also uttered to us who panic: “Quiet! Be still!” In times of trouble, let us know that God is with us. Let our faith help us accept our own suffering. Let our faith help us see God in our lives even if He seems “asleep”.