Points to Ponder

Weekly thoughts on the Sunday Gospel, readings or a topic...

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seeing your life through the lens of the gospels – Mark 4:35-41
1. The image of a boat in a stormy sea is a symbol of life in difficult times and can represent inner turmoil, anxiety and high emotions. When you have been in such circumstances, perhaps a ‘Jesus person’ came to your assistance and calmed you down? Recall that person with gratitude.
2. The image can also be applied to a family, a community, a parish, or any other group. Remember people who have had a gift of bringing peace to troubled situations.
3. The significance of miracles in the gospels is that they show Jesus as one who brings God's power to bear on human need and suffering. Have there been times when you have been a channel for this healing power of God, holding a crying child in your arms, calming the anxiety of a friend, or being a peacemaker in a group to which you belong?  – John Byrne, OSA

The Deep End
‘Let us go across to the other side’ is an important phrase in Mark’s Gospel, which occurs many times. Jesus and the disciples are crossing the Sea of Galilee from what is a predominantly Jewish area to a more Gentile (non-Jewish) region. While this phrase signifies Jesus’ geographical position, it also suggests that he is inviting the disciples to go a little deeper on their journey. They are perhaps entering into the unknown, moving out of their comfort zones and therefore feeling anxious. The crossing of the water does not go so well for the disciples as a storm begins to brew and eventually the water begins to endanger the boat. To the disciple’s astonishment, Jesus is asleep through the whole ordeal. Their anxious call is understandable, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ After all, Jesus has led them, and ‘other boats’ into this situation and now appears not to care what will happen to them all.
In times of turmoil in life, we too may feel totally abandoned, swamped by fear and anxiety, adrift in a storm where even Jesus appears to be asleep. During such experiences, we might remember the words of Jesus from today’s Gospel and repeat them, like a mantra, ‘Peace! Be Still’. While the wind is howling around us it can be frightening but Christ is always with us, present within our very selves, offering us this deep peace. Often, coming back into this awareness can help us navigate through the storm and remind us that Jesus is very active in our lives, especially when we are entering into unknown territory. What is required of the disciples in this account, is a more mature faith, a deeper trust in their Teacher, that he will not abandon them.
‘May the peace of Christ go with you wherever he may send you; May he guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm; May he bring you home rejoicing at the wonders he has shown you; May he bring you home rejoicing.’ (Shane Claiborne)  – Jane Mellett

(from Intercom)

 

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Pope Francis has proclaimed a “Year of St Joseph”, running until 8 December 2021.
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Prayer to St Joseph
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Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer,
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you God entrusted his only Son;
in you Mary placed her trust;
with you Christ became man..

Blessed Joseph, to us too,
show yourself a father
and guide us in the path of life.
Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage,
and defend us from every evil. Amen.

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