Athenaeum Resources


                                                                               Texts of the Readings

June 25, 2006

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

Betty Jane Lillie, S.C.


Job 38: 1, 8-11    X    Ps 107:23-26, 28-31  X   2 Cor 5:14-17    X   Mk 4:35-41

           After the wonderful feasts we have celebrated in the Easter season we now return to Ordinary Time.  Ordinary Time is that part of the Liturgical Year in which Christ is with his Church through his Spirit for all time.

            The readings resume the consideration of Jesus’ life and historical ministry, as well as the growth process through which his followers grew into discipleship.  Today’s first reading and the Gospel reading are linked both by the sea storm theme and by wonder and awe attached to the power, and thus the identity, of the central figure.

            The beginning of the first reading establishes the context within the storm, or in some versions, the whirlwind.  That is a frequent setting for signaling an appearance of the Lord.  Here the Lord will give a response to Job’s queries about his misfortunes.  He will put his response in the form of rhetorical questions that at times may seem irrelevant, and at other times even playful.  Nevertheless, they are serious; in one instance the address is sharply ironic. (Job 38:21)  Why is Job being arrogant with the Lord?  And in the listeners mind, who is the Lord who responds to Job? 

            We move on to the Gospel reading where again the context is that of a sea storm, or a whirlwind.  Such squalls are not unusual on the Lake of Galilee, and being caught in one is terrifying.  Even more, Jesus was sleeping through it all.  A dialogue in three parts ensued.  First, the disciples woke the Master with a question.  “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”  Then Jesus spoke to the storm.  “Quiet!  Be Still!”  The wind ceased and all was calm, and Jesus asked them why they had no faith.  Lastly, the disciples spoke again.  “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”  Here we have an instance in which the deeds of Jesus clearly show who he is, but the text leaves the answer in the minds and hearts of listeners. 

            Between these two readings is a passage from Paul’s Letter to the Corinthian Church making the point that what Jesus has done can be called a new creation.  The discussion revolves around the idea of death and expresses several different aspects of the subject.  Basic to following the reasoning is the concept of the incorporation of all Christians into Christ through Baptism.  Paul says, “One died for all.”  Therefore, by incorporation into Christ all have died.  Death here is to be taken in the sense of no longer living for oneself, but for Christ, or in Christ.  Even more, Christ was also raised for all, so that all are incorporated into his resurrection and into the kingdom.  In all of that, Christ’s love impels us, so that whoever is in Christ is a new creation.  A whole new way of living has come into being. 

            With the Psalmist let us thank the Lord for his steadfast love, and for his wonderful works for humankind.  (Ps 107)


Betty Jane Lillie, S.C.


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