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June 17, 1994     The Message
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June 17, 1994

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a 17, 1994 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana -- Commentary- A storm on the sea: the power of Jesus' teachings Gospel commcntalT for June 19, Twelfth Sun- ary Time, Cycle B, 4:35-41. Mark has used most of chapter 0ur to present Jesus as a teacher. or  dar  it was important to pre- not only as a teacher, a teacher superior to other his time. Thus he 'ites earlier in the gospel: "They astonished at his teaching, By FATHER DON DILGER taught them as one who had,, COLUMNIST arit: , and not like the scribes. II were the learned inter- e Scriptures. Their method seems to mostly of quoting past authoritative that's the way Mark sees it. At one ;th( say: "What's this? A new teaching! aul he commands even the unclean spir- aad they obey him." In other words, Jesus is per- as working miracles to demonstrate not only 7 to teach but also the power or effec- ess is teaching. The same holds true for the calming the storm. Jesus has just finished a series of parables. He addressing a crowd on the northwest shore of Sea of Galilee. When evening came he invited qisciples to accompany him to the other side of ea, They and Jesus got into a boat and rowed 0 Sea, where a sudden storm arose. The large a Were filling the boat with water. Jesus slept dly in the stern of the boat. They woke him "LINCOLN - MERCURY JASPER 482-1200 with scolding words: "Teacher, is it no concern of yours that we are perishing?" Jesus rebuked the storm and said to the sea: "Peace! Be still." Now the sea was com- pletely calm. Jesus then scolded his disciples for their lack of faith. Their response was strange: "Who is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?" Is this historical? It doesn't matter. For Mark the calming of the storm demonstrates Jesus' au- thority and the power of his teach- ing. Early Christian teachers used not only traditions of eye-witnesses and ear-witnesses of Jesus but also the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament) to illustrate what- ever lesson they wanted to teach their people about Jesus, who he is, what he is, what our re- sponse to him should be. Before Mark included this miracle-story in his gospel as a "proof' of the authority and power of Jesus' teaching, it no doubt served other purposes. The storm represented the original chaos of Gene- sis 1:2, when the "breath of God" or, as some would translate, "an awesome wind" was moving over the surface of the waters. God spoke and brought order out of chaos. Christian theology understood Jesus to have that same power, the power of creation, the power to bring order out of chaos. The Psalms would have played an important part in the development of this story for teaching purposes. In Psalm 89:9 we read: "You rule the raging of the sea, when its waves rise, :,ou calm them." Psalm 107:29, "He made the storm be still and the waves of thesea were hushed." Finally in Psalm 65:7, "You still the roaring of the sea, the roaring of the waves." We know that our New Testament au- thors worked on the principle that everything written in the Hebrew Scriptures was fultilled in Jesus. As Luke puts it: " ... everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms." Mark weaves into the story one of his favorite themes, that the disciples were too dull to ever under- stand anYthing. This is probably part of his major theme that not one human being, not even family or friends ever understood Jesus. In fact, he was eventu- ally abandoned by all of them in Mark's gospel. And so the disciples are made to say by Mark: "Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?" There is another lesson in this story, a lesson that applies to us also. Mark was writing for a Christ- ian community that had undergone severe persecu- tion. There seemed to be no help. Was God asleep, like Jesus in the boat? They felt they had a right to ask: "Teacher, isit no concern of yours that we are perishing?" Mark Wants his devastated community to see themselves in that boat. Jesus' response to his disciples: "why are you afraid? Have you no faith?" is intended for his Christian community and all Chris- tians down to our times when they are besieged by the storms of life and feel that they have been aban- doned. To all Mark directs the words of Jesus: "Peace! Be still!" His power still goes out to calm our storms and bring order out of chaos. Readings: Job 38:1, 8-11; II Corinthians 5:14.17. [ M LLER00MLLER I ! "Funeral Pre-Planning Since 1940" ,iJg0000 424-9274 Built in 1825 for Noon Day Stage Coach Stop & Trading Post OFFICIALLY RECOGNIZED AS OLDEST RESTAURANT IN INDIANA I00ILES NORTH OF EVANSVILLE E EAST OF US 41 ON OLD STATE ROAD GINAL LOG !?i t@ 1' te Ii oY %i8 ylw it  tie', i . 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