Sermon: Mother Margaret Hay on Ordinary 12 – Storms of Life

preached by Mother Margaret

Text: Mark 4:35-41

In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen

The Sea of Galilee is, I understand, like Scotland, and the weather can change in an instant from benign to frightening. There are many ravines to the north and east of the lake which create wind tunnels. These can whip up the waves on the lake at a moment’s notice and strike terror into the heart of even the most seasoned sailors, as these fishermen disciples undoubtedly are. The fishing boats are about 24 feet long, with a little cushioned seat in the raised part at the stern. At most they might accommodate a dozen men, but it would be very open to the elements.

In their fear for their lives the disciples go in faith to the one person who can help them. Jesus, we are told, is sleeping. Jesus the divine yet oh so human is sleeping because He is exhausted from the day’s preaching. But, in an instant He is awake and meets them in their fear. With one sharp word, nature has obeyed its Creator, but the disciples do not get away scot free. They are told off for letting their fear rule

They forgot for a moment that He is their anchor.

Is Jesus your anchor?

Will your anchor hold in the storms of your life?

You have a lovely day with the family, a special happy gathering, one of the best who’ve known. You come home on top of the world to an answerphone message from your best friend. They sound a bit fraught but you don’t worry as they are prone to dramatise things. But you phone them anyway – and they tell you of a visit to the doctor who tells them they don’t have long to live.

Will you anchor hold in the storms of your life?

You’ve had good news at work. At long last the promotion you’ve longed for has come through. You’ve worked hard for it, long hours of overtime, maybe you’ve neglected the family a bit. But it’s worth it now. A bright future ahead. So you take the family out in the car for a day at the seaside. After a picnic lunch you suggest a walk along the cliffs. Everyone is so excited and happy you’re a family again. But you fail to spot an uneven patch of ground near the cliff edge, you stumble and fall several yards down the cliffs. When you regain consciousness it’s to be tod your neck is broken and you’ll spend the rest of your life in a wheelchair.

Will your anchor hold in the storms of your life?

You spend the weekend in the garden, it’s starting to come right, it’s taken years to get to this stage but all the hard graft is paying off. The mortgage is nearly paid off too only a few years to go, just so long as your job is safe and you’ll be fine. On Monday the boss calls you into the office, and tells you, very reluctantly, you have to be laid off immediately. At your age the prospect of another job is grim and the building society inform you they are going to foreclose and you will be homeless.

We all react differently to the crises in our lives. They can bring out the best [and the worst in us. We can allow them to overwhelm us or we can take hold of them and, trusting God, make the best of things. One thing is for sure, none of can expect to get through life without being tested and it all too easy to turn in on ourselves and say ‘Why me?’

In the presence of Jesus, the disciples see a storm turn into a calm. So, too, can we find His presence in a crisis if WE LET HIM. His presence transforms even the darkness of death into the light of eternity. His presence in our suffering CAN bring us peace because He has been there before us. His broken, bleeding body on the cross and the empty tomb are witness to Him breaking the power of evil once and for all.

But it takes courage and faith to trust Jesus in our worst crises. As we meet Him in the Mass, as we share the bread and wine that is His body and His blood, freely shed on the cross for us, so He reaches out to us with the assurance that no matter what the future holds, we can face it better with Him than without Him.

Amen

Sermon Ordinary 12 – Mother Margaret Hay

Mark 4:35-41

In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen

The Sea of Galilee is, I understand, like Scotland, and the weather can change in an instant from benign to frightening. There are many ravines to the north and east of the lake which create wind tunnels. These can whip up the waves on the lake at a moment’s notice and strike terror into the heart of even the most seasoned sailors, as these fishermen disciples undoubtedly are. The fishing boats are about 24 feet long, with a little cushioned seat in the raised part at the stern. At most they might accommodate a dozen men, but it would be very open to the elements.

In their fear for their lives the disciples go in faith to the one person who can help them. Jesus, we are told, is sleeping. Jesus the divine yet oh so human is sleeping because He is exhausted from the day’s preaching. But, in an instant He is awake and meets them in their fear. With one sharp word, nature has obeyed its Creator, but the disciples do not get away scot free. They are told off for letting their fear rule

They forgot for a moment that He is their anchor.

Is Jesus your anchor?

Will your anchor hold in the storms of your life?

You have a lovely day with the family, a special happy gathering, one of the best who’ve known. You come home on top of the world to an answerphone message from your best friend. They sound a bit fraught but you don’t worry as they are prone to dramatise things. But you phone them anyway – and they tell you of a visit to the doctor who tells them they don’t have long to live.

Will you anchor hold in the storms of your life?

You’ve had good news at work. At long last the promotion you’ve longed for has come through. You’ve worked hard for it, long hours of overtime, maybe you’ve neglected the family a bit. But it’s worth it now. A bright future ahead. So you take the family out in the car for a day at the seaside. After a picnic lunch you suggest a walk along the cliffs. Everyone is so excited and happy you’re a family again. But you fail to spot an uneven patch of ground near the cliff edge, you stumble and fall several yards down the cliffs. When you regain consciousness it’s to be tod your neck is broken and you’ll spend the rest of your life in a wheelchair.

Will your anchor hold in the storms of your life?

You spend the weekend in the garden, it’s starting to come right, it’s taken years to get to this stage but all the hard graft is paying off. The mortgage is nearly paid off too only a few years to go, just so long as your job is safe and you’ll be fine. On Monday the boss calls you into the office, and tells you, very reluctantly, you have to be laid off immediately. At your age the prospect of another job is grim and the building society inform you they are going to foreclose and you will be homeless.

We all react differently to the crises in our lives. They can bring out the best [and the worst in us. We can allow them to overwhelm us or we can take hold of them and, trusting God, make the best of things. One thing is for sure, none of can expect to get through life without being tested and it all too easy to turn in on ourselves and say ‘Why me?’

In the presence of Jesus, the disciples see a storm turn into a calm. So, too, can we find His presence in a crisis if WE LET HIM. His presence transforms even the darkness of death into the light of eternity. His presence in our suffering CAN bring us peace because He has been there before us. His broken, bleeding body on the cross and the empty tomb are witness to Him breaking the power of evil once and for all.

But it takes courage and faith to trust Jesus in our worst crises. As we meet Him in the Mass, as we share the bread and wine that is His body and His blood, freely shed on the cross for us, so He reaches out to us with the assurance that no matter what the future holds, we can face it better with Him than without Him.

Amen