Signs

The storm quelled

The wind ceased and there was a great calm. Then Jesus said to them, "Why are you so fearful? Do you not yet have faith?".

Gospel - Mark [4, 35-41]

That same day, when evening came, he said to them: "Let's go to the other side". Then they, leaving the crowd, take him as he was in the boat, and others were with him. In the meantime such a storm of wind arose that the waves poured over the boat, so the boat was already filling up, while he was standing in the stern, asleep on a pillow. They wake him up and say to him: "Master, don't you care that we die?". He awoke, rebuked the wind and said to the sea: "Be quiet, calm down!". The wind ceased and there was a great calm. Then he said to them, "Why are you so fearful? Don't you have faith yet?" They were terrified and said to one another, "Who then is this, whom even the wind and the sea obey?".

Exegesis - Mark [4, 35-41]

Having finished the enunciation of the parables, Jesus suggests to him: "Let's go to the other shore!" and he is so exhausted that he falls asleep in the stern, on a pillow. This deep sleep is not only a sign of great weariness, but it is also an expression of the peaceful trust that the Son has in the Father and in his will, a trust that is manifested even more in the moment in which, awakened by the disciples by the impetuous wind who is stirring the waters and threatens to overturn the boat, Jesus turns to the wind and the sea to appease them. Here the amazement of the disciples emerges, which makes them exclaim: "Who then is this, whom even the wind and the sea obey?".

How is it possible that the wind and the sea submit to Jesus? And even more surprising is the severe reproach: "Why are you so fearful? Do you still have no faith?", That is, "after so many miracles you have seen and the parables you have heard, are you afraid of perishing while I am with you?". Certainly the situation is very serious, because the boat is filling up with water under the fury of the wind and the waves, while Jesus, undeterred, continues to sleep: the fear of those apostles is normal and "human". fishermen and were well aware of the behavior and consequences of these atmospheric phenomena. However, they were forgetting one very important thing: on the boat, with them, was Jesus.

The emphasis proposed by the text is relevant: "He was standing in the stern, asleep on a pillow"; it is a peculiarity of the Gospel of Mark to report these smallest details, and it is the only time that the Gospel speaks of the sleep of Jesus: but how, in the midst of such a storm, with the boat covered by the waves, sleeps peacefully? And this is what amazes his apostles.

The dilemma of human fear emerges overwhelmingly; faith in him had to be stronger, it had to generate that certainty that nothing is impossible for Jesus. It is the same fear that assails us in our daily difficulties, when the sky of hope is darkened and we can no longer even appeal to him: yes, at that moment it seems distant to us, as if he were sleeping. But then Jesus wakes up, and not because of the waves, but because of the desperate cry of the disciples that makes him act quickly: "Master, don't you care that we die?"; he got up, scolded the wind and the sea, and suddenly everything around him became calm.

How is it possible, however, that the wind and the sea listen to and obey Jesus' command? Humanly it is an inconceivable action, but Jesus knew very well what he was doing, he knew "who" was waving the wind and the sea: the demon with his diabolical actions of him, who constantly tempts every certainty and instills doubt everywhere. Of course, it would be easier to think that the cause was dictated by a sudden climate change, by the generation of certain wind vortices; but the proof that this was not the case lies in the fact that the wind and the sea subside as soon as Jesus intervenes: all creatures are subjected to him, from nature to man; through his saving intervention, man can rediscover the peace of faith and in him nature can resume its course and be beneficial (and not adverse) to man.

This episode of the calm sea evokes the journey of the exodus, when the people of God, without fear, pass through the waters of the sea; it also evokes the prophet Isaiah who preached to the people: "When you have to cross the waters, I will stay with you!".
(Is 43,2).

Jesus retraces the exodus and fulfills the prophecy announced by the Psalm: "He said and caused a storm wind to blow, lifting the sea waves aloft: they rose up to heaven, sank into the abyss; their souls languished in trouble; they wavered, they staggered like drunkards, all their expertise had vanished. They cried out to the Lord in their distress and brought them out of their distress: he calmed the storm, and the waves of the sea quieted down".
(Ps 107, 25-30).

Either we return to God or the creation will always be the enemy; the apostles also understand this, once more after that saving intervention through which they recognize that Jesus is truly the Son of God: we must be with him, so as not to be afraid in the storms of our life; but to do this a firm faith is necessary, one must always and firmly believe, in the face of any concern or difficulty, that nothing is impossible for him! Only then, having heard our cry, he can act and intervene to help us.

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