1991 June 23 – 12th Sun Ord (Bulletin Letters)
Cycle B -12th Sun Ord
Mk 4, 35-41
“WHO CAN THIS BE THAT THE WIND AND THE SEA OBEY HIM?” Mk. 4:41
In this week’s, Gospel from Mark, Jesus takes His disciples for a boat ride. They are given a lesson in just how far Jesus’ authority extends.
To begin, we must enter the cosmic world view of biblical times. We will need to forget all our modern notions of the universe. We must forget that the world is round, that she circles the Sun with nine other planets, and that our sun is just one of millions of stars that make up our galaxy and the universe beyond.
In place of these modern notions, we need to substitute the ancients understanding of the cosmos. In the ancient’s mind set, the earth was a flat place. It was protected by a huge, blue dome that was highlighted by the sun, the moon, and the stars. The Earth, and its protective blue dome, rests on massive pillars. This entire enterprise – the Earth, it’s dome, and it’s pillars – is surrounded by primordial waters. During rain storms, these waters are filtered through the dome through valves that open and shut at God’s discretion. Any body of water, with a bottom too deep to reach, was believed to be directly connected to the chaotic waters of the beyond.
Not much was known about the body of water that surrounded that “flat” earth. But one thing was known for sure – the great waters of the beyond were dangerous to all life. They represented death and utter “chaos”. God was the one who set up the pillars, made the earth with its dome, and set the boundaries between the known human world and the chaos of the unknown waters.
For Israel, all great bodies of water brought human beings into close proximity to the chaotic waters of the great beyond. Even the Sea of Galilee accessed them.
In the midst of the storm, when Jesus rebuked the sea and the wind and was obeyed, the disciples were given an glimpse of the true nature of Jesus’ authority. Like His Father, who created the universe, Jesus can also determine the boundries of the chaotic waters of the great beyond. He proved as much when he saved the lives of His disciples in the boat.