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Homily for the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Updated: Jul 2

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Job 38:1, 8-11; 2 Corinthians 5:14-17; Mark 4:35-41

Saint John Baptist de LaSalle June 23, 2024


On a sunny day in June, in 1974, exactly 50 years ago, I listened, for the first time, to a musician named Bob Dylan sing a song called "Shelter from the Storm." The song is about a young man who faces both the physical and spiritual storms of life, meeting a woman who tells him, "Come in, she says, I'll give you shelter from the storm." I have listened to the refrain of this song over and over again, "Come in, she says, I'll give you shelter from the storm," simply because each and every one of us need help just trying to get the storms of life to end.


Every day the "Weather Channel" presents us with storms from across the country. Connected to the "world wide web" by the personal computers in our pockets, we are no longer surprised by nature's storms. We are informed, most of the time quite accurately, when the storms will begin and how long they will last, even how intense they will be. The storms of life are quite different. We seldom see them coming, and we rarely know when they will end. Indeed, uncertainty is a large part of the damage these storms cause us. Many of us find that not knowing is worse than knowing.


So, I offer a bit of advice as we try to weather the storms of life. First, we can't do this alone. Get a lifeguard, someone who can tell you what he or she sees. Each of us needs this lifeguard, a spouse, a relative, a close friend, someone who can say to us, "Look, you may not see this, but I know that you are in trouble." Second, know your shelter from the storm, know where to turn and who to turn to, because by the time you hear from your lifeguard, you will be well into the storm, and it will already be wreaking havoc in your life. You need to know what taking care of yourself looks like before you are told to do it.


And thirdly, and finally, remember that all of life's storms will pass. We know this when it comes to the weather, but it's easy to forget when it comes to life. It is the very nature of the storm that blinds us, trying to make us forget it is an illusion. Life is not always like this, and life will not always be like this. The storms in our life will blow over, even if they only pass with life itself. If nothing else does, death will free us from the storm, and that's no shallow promise.


This is the difference between people who have put their hope in Jesus and those who are just trying to live in a world of despair.


We have hope in the life to come, and it all begins with the Resurrection of the Christ. If you believe that nothing follows death, you can come to believe that death is the price we must pay to escape the storms of life. But if you believe that life follows death, then you know the storm will pass, either before or with death, and that allows us to struggle on, even to become a different person, a better person, as the storm rages on around us. Hope makes the difference, for Christians believe that death leads to the shelter of salvation.


There the Christ says to the storm: "He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, 'Quiet! Be still!' The wind ceased and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, 'Why are you terrified? Do you not have faith?' They were filled with great awe and said to one another, 'Who then is this whom even the wind and sea obey?'" For us, the Christ is our lifeguard: "Come in, he says, I'll give you shelter from the storm!"

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