Saturday of Week 3 Per Annum (29th January): II Samuel 12.1-7,10-17; Psalm 50; Mark 4.35-41

St Mark’s style of writing is breathless, impetuous. Events crowd upon one another relentlessly; his favourite word is immediately. In 3.13 he summons 12 disciples to follow him, and once appointed there is no rest for any of them. Such crowds followed them that ‘they could not even have a meal.’ [3.20] Relatives of his ‘set out to take charge of him, convinced he was out of his mind.’ [3.21] He disputes with scribes from Jerusalem [3.22-30]; he teaches in parables. [4.1-34] Finally ‘with the coming of evening that same day’ [4.35] he and his disciples board a boat to cross Lake Galilee. A storm breaks out, but he sleeps through it, ‘his head on a cushion.’ [4.38] When the disciples awake him he asks ‘Why are you so frightened? How is it that you have no faith?’ [4.40] At the end of a tumultuous day, not so different, perhaps, from many of our own days, his question at once challenges them—and us—and invites us to find rest in the conviction that ‘even the wind and the sea’ obey his voice.

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