12th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Ages 3-6): The Gift of Awe
(Adults, you could begin by reading the Gospel aloud to the child. Alternatively, you could read the first paragraph of the reflection to the child, then read the Gospel, and then continue with the reflection.)
In the Gospel for this Sunday, it is almost night time. It has been a long day for Jesus. He has been telling parables all day, teaching people about the Kingdom of God, and now he is tired. We hear about Jesus and his friends crossing a large lake in a boat to get to a place of rest.
A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped.
The water of the lake is no longer calm and smooth. The wind is making great waves, and the waves are splashing into the boat. "Swamped" means that so much water is in the boat, the disciples are having trouble getting it all out again.
What does Jesus do when the water is getting into the boat?
he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion
Jesus sleeps! We wonder how he can sleep when the wind blows so strongly and water is getting into the boat.
The disciples are not sleeping. They are scared. What do the disciples do when they are scared?
they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
When they are scared, they go to Jesus. They wake him up. They want Jesus to know that they are scared.
What does Jesus do when the disciples are scared?
He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm.
When the disciples are scared, Jesus does not wait. Jesus moves right away to make their fear go away. Jesus brings peace. Everything becomes still.
What can we say about Jesus? Does he want his friends to be afraid?
When there is peace, Jesus says,
“Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?”
Jesus does not think the disciples needed to be afraid. We wonder why not. Perhaps they do not need to be afraid because Jesus is with them, and Jesus brings peace.
In the stillness that follows the storm, the disciples,
were filled with great awe
What does this mean?
Awe is a gift of the Holy Spirit. We know then that the Holy Spirit fills them.
Awe means to sit in stillness and wonder at all the marvellous things that God can do. What do the disciples wonder at? What have they seen?
What about us? When we are baptized, we receive the Holy Spirit, too. The Holy Spirit gives us awe, too. Can we sit in stillness and wonder at all the marvellous things that God can do? What would we wonder at?
We know more that the disciples. We know that Jesus is risen from the dead, never to die again. The light of his Risen life will never go out! Jesus shares this light with us at Baptism. We have this light, too! This is something to sit in stillness and wonder at! This is the most marvellous thing that God can do!
Let's try that this week. We can make our bodies so still. We can do this when we are sitting, or we could even do this as we go to sleep, just like when Jesus sleeps in the boat. When we are so still, we can begin to wonder at all that God can do. We can enjoy the gift of awe.