Why Are You So Terrified?

Weekly Missionary Reflection
12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 20 June 2021

Job 38:1.8-11; Ps. 107:23-24,25-26,28-29,30-31; 2Cor. 5:14-17; Mark 4:35-40

After teaching the whole day, Jesus sat in a boat, exhausted and then fell asleep. The disciples sent the crowd away. Then they crossed to the other side with Jesus. Mark always stressed on Jesus’ being with His disciples. Normally this togetherness becomes the setting for Jesus’ special teaching for the disciples about Himself and His commandment. The two dimensions are always tightly united. The Gospel of Mark is a gospel about the identity of the Christ and of His church.

“Let us cross to the other side” (v. 35b). Jesus invited His disciples “to cross to the other side”, to an unknown place. This is just a common invitation. As in the past and now, the life of His disciples is a process of crossing and leaving. We are always asked to leave our comfort zone. The disciples should not be complacent with their establishment, comfort or achievement. Cross to the other side, meet and reach out those who are forgotten and yet to get the Good News! Jesus does not guarantee a safe journey. Just cross, experience and face anything that you will encounter in the journey, included all the storms and waves! Jesus’ presence in the boat should soothe the disciples.

But it didn’t happen as it should be. The storm and wave terrified them. They were afraid of dying. The evil power that moved the sea and storm was so scary. The Lord had to act. But He was sleeping, just like the prophet Jonah in the past. For His disciples, this was a sign that He does not care. So, they “rebuked” and woke Him up. Just like Jonah being waken up and thrown into the sea to calm it down. Now Jesus was waken up to rebuke the storm and sea. Jesus rules over the nature. He puts the chaos of the universe in order. Thus, the time of the crossing becomes the moment of revelation: Jesus presents God, the Ruler of the universe. His word is full of power that is able to defeat the evil power that blocking the journey of Good News preacher.

The time of crossing is also the moment of coaching. After rebuking the nature, Jesus also rebuked His disciples: “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” (v. 40). Panic and fear are signs of disbelief. They didn’t believe that Jesus was always with them. Jesus is always in the boat of His disciples’ life, from the past to present. Sometimes we can feel His presence, but more often that we don’t feel it, He is far and seems asleep. During those moments we are tempted to accuse Him “not care” (v. 38). Thus, the Lord’s reprimand remains relevant: why are you terrified? Believe that He is always with us in the boat. Believe that He is with us in our journey. If we have such faith, even as small as mustard seed, we do not need to fear in facing any kinds of storm and wave! Lord will definitely save us from danger and the threatening, especially from the lack of our own faith. He saves us completely as long as we always take Him in our boat and always be ready to listen to His words and rebukes.

(Hortensius Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)


Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.

Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:

For Evangelization intention:
The Beauty of Marriage: Let us pray for the young people who are preparing their marriage with the support from Christian community, may they grow in love, having generosity, loyalty and patience. We pray …

For Indonesian Churches intention:
Social media activists and users: May all media social activists and users be blessed with virtues to keep speading the positive things and be sent away from the the things that is detrimental to oneself, family or society. We pray …

Special Intention for the year of St. Joseph:
Please give us a heart like the Son of Joseph, to sincerely take part in building the community of the Faith in our family and community. We pray…


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