Sunday, 21 June 2015

Sudden Rain

10 Minute Daily Retreat - Read the Daily Gospel with a prayerful heart.
By Susanne Timpani (No.133)

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark 4:35-41
With the coming of evening that same day, he said to them, 'Let us cross over to the other side.' And leaving the crowd behind they took him, just as he was, in the boat, and there were other boats with him.

Then it began to blow a great gale, and the waves were breaking into the boat so that it was almost swamped. But he was in the stern, his head on the cushion, asleep. They woke him and said to him,  'Master, do you not care? We are lost!'

And he woke up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, 'quiet now! Be calm!' And the wind dropped, and there followed a great calm.

Then he said to them, 'why are you so frightened? Have you still no faith?' They were overcome with awe and said to one another, 'who can this be? Even the wind and the sea obey him.'

Parallel scripture: 'Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.'  Matthew 8:24

If you've ever experienced the climate of a tropical region, you will understand the words 'sudden rain.' 

While hiking through the jungle as a nurse in PNG, this phenomenon often caught me unaware. Out of the silence, a mighty roar reverberated through the jungle and the rain arrived like a curtain. It soaked everything for a couple of minutes before continuing its path. If this type of shower happened while in town, locals vanished, and I would be left standing in the road wondering what happened. I took a soaking but dried as quickly as I became wet.

'Suddenly' is the word from today's Gospel that stands out for me. It means unexpected, without warning. These are the moments in our life for which we are unprepared. They are not always times of trial. Sometimes they are moments that bring great joy, such as pregnancy, being offered a promotion at work or meeting a soul mate.

Even these unexpected joys cause havoc to the ripple free life many of us crave. Whether painful or joyful, life is full of sudden storms. The more practiced we are in crying out to Jesus through life's storms, the more confidence we have in His power to bring calm. 

When the storm 'is furious' as described in today's Gospel, and we begin to panic, let us ask ourselves, 'have you no faith?'

Susanne Timpani
5 minutes: READ the text slowly.
REFLECT on a phrase or word that struck you.
SPEAK to God about your thoughts.
5 minutes: LISTEN to God speak to you.
RESPOND with a prayer that feels right for you.