Saturday, June 20, 2009

Who then is this? - Sunday, June 21, 2009

Reflection on the Readings

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time - June 21, 2009 - Year B

The 3rd Sunday After Pentecost - Father's Day

By Dennis Hankins

Readings for this Sunday.

Theme: Who then is this?

"Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?"

On this stormy moment on the Sea of Galilee, Jesus unveils the power of his holiness.  In bringing peace and calm to the winds and the waves, Jesus demonstrates his oneness with the Father.  That God alone can harness the raging tides, the disciples witness with amazement the wonder of love so divine.  Their question, "Who then is this?", rises from deep within, where faith challenges reason, asking the soul, "Why are you afraid?"

I am not a cradle Catholic.  Deep within my heart, I carry the Pentecostal teachings of my Father whom I called Daddy, who taught me who Jesus is.  I remember Mr. Prior, a man in my hometown who endured a severe back problem, crediting Daddy's prayers for making it possible for him to recover from surgery and walk and work again.  Mr. Prior was not Pentecostal, but Daddy, led by the Spirit, laid his hands on this man, and prayed in the name of him whom wind and sea obey, and Mr. Prior was healed.

After High School, I travelled a bit as a Pentecostal evangelist.  Once, when a pastor scheduled me for a weekend revival, I remember Daddy questioning if they were afraid they might have one!  You see, for Pentecostals like Daddy, you make room for Jesus.  He's not someone you make fit in conveniently.  You make time and space, and pour your soul out, and invite people to meet Jesus who never changes, who is the same yesterday, today and forever.

In reality, this is not unlike our Catholic faith. In the Eucharist, are we not participating in the divine nature?  Do we not believe that passing between our lips is the body, soul, and divinity of Christ?  Jesus is alive and well.  And if there is any question about that, let's not put off another moment of knowing him in the power and grace of the consecrated bread and wine, his body and blood.

This Eucharistic truth is embraced all over the world.  Whether in a chapel built out of sticks, mud, and straw or at St. Peter's of Rome, Jesus reveals himself to us just as he did to his disciples in that boat on the raging sea of Galilee.  And he asks us what he asked them: "Why are you afraid?   Have you no faith?"  "Do you trust Me?"

All He asks is that we pray more fervently, believe more deeply, that we might care with more conviction, and be his face of compassion, his hands of fellowship, his voice of love, his heart of mercy.  Jesus is compassion, fellowship, love and mercy; he is the very image and radiance of his Father's heart.  

That's what my Daddy taught me about Jesus.

Let us pray: Heavenly Father, grant that I may be a true son of the Church, a good witness to the Son of Love, led by the Spirit.  Amen.


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