June 23 – Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reincarnation is the belief that people after death will be brought back into the world, but with a different body and a new life.  I’m so glad that as Catholics, who have the fullness of faith, we know this not to be true.  This isn’t an attack on those who believe in reincarnation, but as I like to point out when it comes to a tenant of our faith, what loving God would allow someone to go through middle school more than once? 

I have to say, growing up as a middle school student, I was definitely driven by emotions and struggled with things of the heart and mind. I believe that everyone has experienced this in some way or another.  Additionally, I believe most modern-day psychologists would call it healthy, and a time of self-discovery.  However, I would argue that one other step that is necessary in our self-discovery, but typically missed, is knowledge that we are grounded in our identity as a son or daughter of God and awareness of the Lord’s presence in our lives. 

I believe my greatest struggles in middle school, high school, and beyond would have subsided if I only extended my trust in the Lord and truly understood his care for me.  In our Gospel we hear that the disciples are in a boat with the Lord.  A huge storm comes while Christ is sleeping in the stern of the boat.  On a side note, the stern is usually the place where one steers the boat. The disciples are afraid and they wake up our Lord saying, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” The Lord wakes up and says to the wind and sea, “Quiet, Be Still!” (Mark :38-39) 

Even though the command is directed at the wind and the sea, I’d argue that we need to ask the Lord to give the same command to our head and heart: “Quiet! Be Still!”  How often we get caught up in the emotions of the heart, or in our heads, and it feels like everything is falling apart; we are terrified not knowing what is beyond the horizon. 

The Lord is a loving God; He desires for us to trust in him with faith, and rest in the knowledge that ultimately, he is in control and always in our midst. What a beautiful gift to have this confidence in our Lord Jesus Christ who continues to reveal himself to us, especially in the gift of the Eucharist.  May we walk away as the disciples did after he calmed the storms: with great awe. 

Father Michael