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Saturday of the Third Week of Ordinary Time – Odd Year of the Fair

Posté par diaconos le 30 janvier 2021

Who is he, then, that even the wind and the sea may obey him ?

Samedi de la troisième Semaine du Temps Ordinaire — Année Impaire de la férie dans Catéchèse Jésus-Christ-la-Foi-de-St-Pierre-01

# The Calm Storm is a miracle attributed to Jesus Christ. It is quoted in the three synoptic Gospels. It is the symbol that Christ came to bring peace to a humanity caught in the tumultuous waves of life. This episode is said to have taken place on Lake Genezareth or Lake Tiberias, or the Sea of Galilee or Lake Kinneret. It is a freshwater lake with a surface area of 160 km2 situated in the north-east of Israel between the Golan Heights and the Galilee.

Delacroix painted at least six versions of this New Testament passage: awakened by his terrified disciples, Christ scolded them for their lack of trust in Providence.

From the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark

That day, when evening came, Jesus said to his disciples : « Let us go to the other side. » When they left the crowd, they took Jesus as he was in the boat, and other boats accompanied him. There is a violent storm.
The waves were pouring over the boat, so that it was already filling up. He slept on the cushion at the stern. The disciples woke him up and said to him: « Master, we are lost; do you mind ?»
Awake, he rebuked the wind and said to the sea : « Silence, be quiet !  » The wind died down and a great calm fell. Jesus said to them,  » Why are you so afraid ?
Have you not yet faith ? « And they were greatly afraid and said to one another :  « Who is this man, that even the wind and the sea should obey him ?  » (Mk 4, 35-41).

The storm has subsided

One evening, the disciples took Jesus in the boat across the lake. Other boats accompanied them and suddenly a whirlwind rose up. Jesus was sleeping on the stern, on the pillow. The disciples asked for his help, blaming him for not caring about their distress. Jesus commanded the wind and the sea ; a great calm was established.

Jesus reproached his disciples for their lack of faith. Matthew and Luke were very vague about when this event took place. Matthew and Luke only vaguely indicated when this event took place. Mark said that it was on this day that he taught the people in parables, and when evening came, he set sail for the other side.

The disciples took Jesus with them, just as he was in the boat, from where he taught the crowd. This observation, which is typical of Mark, means that Jesus left with them unprepared, without taking food or clothing for the night, and none of the disciples returned home. Jesus was tired from the day, it was a matter of leaving the crowd and finding rest; the disciples knew this and they acted accordingly.

This was another feature that was peculiar to Mark, but which Matthew’s account led us to believe. A touching detail, preserved by Mark alone. An attentive hand had prepared this pillow for Jesus, tired from his day. Several interpreters, it is true, noting that the word « pillow » is written with an article, assume that it is the support intended for the boatman who was at the helm.

All these features by which Mark finished painting the scene can only have been observed and remembered by an eyewitness ; and this witness is the apostle Peter, whose accounts and preaching Mark reported. It is worth noting these verbs in the present tense that make the scene so topical and lively : they wake him up, they tell him. Our ordinary versions erase these nuances.

It should also be noted that the three synoptics retain a perfect independence in their relationship to the words that the disciples address to Jesus to awaken him and express their anguish. Each gave it a different title. Matthew, Lord ; Mark, Teacher, Doctor, the one who teaches ; Luke, Epistathete, overseer, president, head of a house. Moreover, one said, « Save us, » and the other reproached him out of fear : « Don’t you care ? » The three united in their anguish : « We are perishing ! »

What majesty ! What certainty of divine power ! What energy in this double commandment that Mark alone made known to us : « Be silent ! Be silent ! . These words were addressed to the wind, the sea, the waves (Luke), not only personified by an oratory or poetic movement, as was thought, but really considered as living forces of nature in convulsion, which Jesus commanded as a master and which he calmed. And a great calm was achieved.

What a parable of Jesus’ action in the turmoil and dangers of the moral world! In this area it takes no less power to produce peace than it does to bring calm in the midst of a storm. This should be considered by those who find it more difficult to admit Jesus’ miracles of inanimate nature than his healing of the sick. In either case, God cannot be a slave to the laws which he himself has established and which are neither annulled nor changed by this action of a higher order.

These various expressions come from the fact that the disciples all spoke at the same time. But what dominated the whole scene was the unanimous recourse of the disciples to Jesus, who alone could save them.

A variant, which can be read in Codex Sinaiticus, B, D, and is adopted by Lachmann, Tregelles, Westcott and Hort, but rejected by others as a copyist’s fault, reads : « Have you no faith yet ?  »in spite of all the works of power and love that you have already seen me perform.

Fear was natural at such a time; faith alone could have dispelled it. But what did the disciples lack faith in? Didn’t they resort to him in danger? Yes, but in their confusion they thought for a moment that they would perish and Jesus with them. Now, on this boat was the whole Church, the salvation of the world, the eternal future of mankind that Jesus came to save. Could this work of divine mercy perish ?

Do not the discouragement and doubts so often experienced by excellent servants of God reveal the same lack of faith that Jesus reproached his disciples for ? What was their fear now that the storm had subsided and all danger had passed ? It was the deep impression of that divine majesty that appeared to them in Jesus, to whom the very wind and the sea obeyed.

This is how they themselves expressed the feeling they had been seized with and which inspired the cry of adoration : « Who is this one?  » This very great deliverance helped to make him known to them, and then they went from fear and doubt to faith in him. When night fell, the boat of the disciples, accompanied by other boats, left the shore in a hurry; the storm broke out with fury, and the waves rushed into the boat, which began to sink.

Jesus was sleeping with his head resting on the pillow ; the anguished cries of the disciples, who reproached him for not caring about their danger ; Jesus woke up ; his almighty word addressed to the winds and the sea, which calmed down in great calm.

Deacon Michel Houyoux

Links to other Christian websites

◊ All of Grace : Click here to read the paper →  Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him ?

◊ Trinity Church (Bristol) : Click here to read the paper →  Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him ?

Pastor Steve Rhoades : « After The Storm Subsides »

Image de prévisualisation YouTube

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