Open Bible:
August 2003 

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The calming down of the storm




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The calming down of the storm
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:"…Silence, 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?"

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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?
étapes de l'existence 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.
autre rive 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 and faith. 

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.