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Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The apostles, who were fishermen, knew the Sea of Galilee only too well, and they were right to be frightened when a storm blew up. Fear is a healthy emotion, which informs us of danger and of the need to protect ourselves. They could not understand how Jesus remained so calm and was able to sleep through the chaos. They called on him for help, putting their trust in his power rather than his expertise on the water.

We all have storms in our lives, some more than others. At times we just cannot see a way out of our trouble. It is then that we need to have faith that God will hold us in his embrace and with our trust in him we will weather the storm. Julian of Norwich, a mystic who would have lived a time of hardship and unrest in the aftermath of the plague of 1348 and the later Peasants Revolt in 1381, was still able to say with confidence: “All will be well, and all manner of things will be well" (Revelations of Divine Love). She was able to do this because she experienced an overwhelming sense of God’s love for humanity and she described Jesus as being our mother. For centuries her writing remained largely unknown, possibly because it was feared that her optimism would be regarded as heretical in an age when hellfire was preached and people feared divine punishment. In our time when we are faced with so many challenges we might do well to remember the loving confidence of the fourteenth century anchoress.