- The calming down of the
Mark 4, 35-41
- That evening, after a day of instructing the crowd, his
disciples took Jesus on their boat.
As it is often the case today, a storm arose at sunset on the
Galilean Sea. The disciples began to panic and Jesus was sleeping
in the boat. In fear of a wreck, they awakened him. On rising,
Jesus threatened the wind and the sea:"
be still" and the storm calmed down. Then talking to
his disciples, he said:"
Why are you so afraid,
how is it that you have no faith?"
As we were gathering to have a deeper understanding of the Evangelical
writings, two levels of understanding were as usual put forward
for this part. For some, it is the astonishment, the amazement
about the power of Jesus over the storm and his ability to master
the force of nature:" Who is he that even the wind and
the sea obey him, demanding those who witnessed the event?"
Already several of the group were telling themselves that Jesus,
the son of man, who has a specific proximity to God, holds a
divine power, that he is really the Son of God.
However, another way to read this episode superimposed the first
one. The struggle against the fury of the waves isn't it an imaginative
way to speak about our inner struggles that we all experience?
How often we struggle against our apprehensions and our fears
in the details of daily life as well during the great events
of our existence! This great whirl, that surrounds us and threatens
to give us away, shows beyond the frightening freaks of nature
the inner trouble that frequently wrings our heart. These events
or ordeals disturb us and take us out of our depth, a feeling
that everything crumbles away overwhelms us and we can do nothing.
- Our cry for help is not heard and even heaven seems to
be insensitive to our cry.
It is at this point that Jesus says to us: "Let us
go on the other side" Let us calm our mind that can
only imagine the worst. Don't let us be dragged down the spiral
of discouragement and distress. "Peace, be still"
he did order to the breaking of the storm. It is an inner storm
that Jesus comes to calm down by waking in us some confidence
Two different readings of this event or parable of the calming
of the storm: do we have to choose? The first reading arouses
admiration in our God caring for human distress. The second puts
us more directly into facing out difficulties in our existence,
stimulated by the call of Jesus to overcome our fears with confidence
in his loving presence.
Why not let us be influenced by these two complementary approaches?
Progressively, deeply, we will be fulfilled by something that
enlightens us and makes us live.