Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 20, 2021
“You don’t even care about me…DO YOU?”
How many times has an angry teenager thrown that accusation at a parent who has laid down the law precisely because they do care?
Think about the person who is excited about a new relationship they are exploring. Whether or not they come right out and ask the question, they walk around mulling it over and over in their mind.
Does he care about me?
Does she even care…or am I wasting my time?
A far more serious situation is when that question infects a wife or husband. Whether out of immaturity or uncertainty, or justified insecurities…the test is the same:
ANSWER YES OR NO: DO YOU CARE?
That simple little question is the ultimate test of any important relationship. I would suggest that it is most frequently asked, sometimes out loud, even shouted in a rage of frustration…or quietly within the privacy of a troubled heart…as a test of the most important relationship any human being can have. When our lives get stormy, we often test our relationship with our Creator, challenging God with the BIG TEST QUESTION:
Do You even care?
Once and for all, and in the most loving and convincing way possible, our Creator responded: OF COURSE I CARE!
Through the incredible act of reassurance…taking human flesh and living among us…God has responded…
OF COURSE I CARE!
Jesus “jumped into the boat” with us to prove that God does care and is in control. In today’s Gospel, The Lord demonstrates His complete trust in God’s loving care by sleeping through a life-threatening storm. The other passengers most likely weathered the experience in different ways. When they put the “test question” to Jesus, some may have displayed the immature attitude of a teenager challenging a protective parent. Others might have simply felt the uncertainty so common in the early stages of a developing relationship.
The boat, in imminent danger of sinking, certainly justified feelings of terror. There most likely were passengers aboard, questioning whether they had misjudged their relationship with Jesus of Nazareth. Had they put too much confidence and trust in Him? Doesn’t He care about us? Or, doesn’t He have the power we thought He did? Whatever the emotions running through their minds, as the waves crashed over the side of the vessel, they asked the BIG TEST QUESTION:
Do You even care?
Jesus responded immediately, dramatically and most convincingly. But, with time and further storms, even Peter need reassurance. Although the terrified disciples asked the BIG TEST QUESTION, it might just be that it was their relationship with the Lord that was being tested. It was their faith and trust that was not yet mature, still uncertain, insecure. In the midst of a storm, it was them who were tested…and they failed. They doubted.
It certainly makes one wonder how we would have reacted had we been on that boat trip. When dark and menacing clouds threaten our sunny days…when waves start to wash over our lives…do we ask God the BIG TEST QUESTION? Or are we secure enough in our relationship with our Creator to follow Jesus’s example and simply close our eyes and calmly ride out the storm?