12th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)


Key Points to the Readings

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Job 38:1, 8-11

God has made the heavens and the earth

  1. The author of Job uses the image of a whirling storm to portray God speaking.
  2. Job does not understand why terrible things have happened to him.
  3. Through the questions God asks Job about control of the sea, Job realizes that God is in control.

2 Corinthians 5:14-17

Now all is new in Christ

  1. In 2 Corinthians, Paul preaches the wonderful news of the new creation.
  2. Paul stresses that Christ is a new creation, as are all who believe in him.
  3. Christ’s resurrection is the final defeat of death.

Mark 4:35-41

Be still

  1. The might of the sea is used in today’s Gospel to show Jesus acting in the power of God.
  2. After Jesus calms the storm and the sea, the disciples are astonished.
  3. In Jesus, God brings the new creation to birth and defeats the powers of sin and death.
SOURCE: Content adapted from Our Sunday Visitor

Catholic Productions

Dr. Brant Pitre

VIDEO: A New Creation in Christ (1 Cor 5:4-17)
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SOURCE: The Mass Readings Explained | Intro
Hearers of the Word

Dr. Kieran J. O’Mahony, OSA

VIDEO Commentary
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PDF Commentary (5 pages)
SOURCE: Hearers of the Word
Navarre Bible
Commentary on Sunday's Readings (PDF)

Click to access 12-ordinary-time-year-b.pdf

Sources include The Jerome Biblical Commentary, The New Jerome Biblical Commentary, and The Navarre Bible. In addition, Church History by Laux (TAN Books), Introduction to the Bible by Laux (TAN Books), A Guide to the Bible by Fuentes (Four Courts Press), and Sharing Our Biblical Story by Russell for background information. We also included quotations from The Faith of the Early Fathers (3 volumes) by Jergens and Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (many volumes) edited by Odum.
SOURCE: Bible study program at St. Charles Borromeo (Picayune, MS) courtesy of Military Archdiocese.
Raymond E. Brown

Introduction to the New Testament

Second Reading in Context

General Analysis of the Message

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Gospel Reading in Context

Four Miraculous Actions in Mark 4:35—5:43

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Ave Maria Press

A Catholic Study of God’s Word

Wisdom Literature: Book of Job

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saint louis university

Scripture in Depth


FIRST READING:The reading selects the creation of the sea, with its assertion of God’s sovereignty over it (Job 38:11), thus preparing for the Gospel reading about the stilling of the storm.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM: In Psalm 107 four different groups of persons are invited to give thanks to God. The fourth group consists of those who have been rescued from a storm at sea. Thus, the psalm matches the first reading and the gospel.

SECOND READING:Paul is contrasting the motivation of his own ministry with that of the false teachers by whom the Corinthians are captivated.

GOSPEL:  The story is told to evoke an answer to the question “Who is this?” The answer is that Jesus is the eschatological prophet in whom Yhwh (see the First Reading and the Psalm) is epiphanously present.



Visit for more resources (e.g PRAYING TOWARD SUNDAY, MUSIC OF SUNDAY, GENERAL INTERCESSIONS) to help you reflect on the spirituality of the scriptures before Mass.

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)


Do You Have Faith in God?

Jesus’s question to the Apostles concerning their faith in God in today’s Gospel Reading is the focus of the Sunday liturgies for the remainder of the Sundays in Ordinary Time until the season of Advent. In the Gospel Reading, we follow in the footsteps of the Apostles. Like them, we experience Jesus’s words and wondrous deeds as the Apostles (and we) come to have a deeper personal relationship with Jesus. We also come to believe with the Apostles that He is not only the Messiah promised by the prophets but God Himself.

Excerpts from Michal E. Hunt’s Agape Bible Study.  Material slightly reformatted. Used with permission.
First Reading

God of Creation Harnesses the Sea

In the First Reading, Job and his friends discuss the mystery of the suffering of the just. In response, God tells Job that he needs to have faith.  Speaking out of a great storm, God reminds Job that He is the God of Creation who formed the seas, and He has the power to do things that human beings cannot fully understand or explain. God tells Job that he needs to remember that all creation is subject to God, and Job must cling to his faith.

Job and his friends discuss the mystery of human suffering

In a series of dialogues, Job and his friends have discussed the mystery of human suffering.  However, they cannot find an adequate answer to the question: “Why must a just man suffer” as Job has suffered. Yahweh answers their question by speaking out of the storm and asks Job: “Who rules the sea?” which is another way of asking, “Job, do you not have faith in Me, the God of Creation?”

God is the Lord of all Creation

He has the power to do things that human beings cannot fully understand or explain. God is telling Job that he needs to remember this and to have faith. The experience of the just man Job in his suffering and God’s omnificence in commanding the sea foreshadows the same themes in the Gospels. Jesus not only shows the same power over the sea in two miracles (e.g., Mt 8:24-27; 14:24-32; Mk 4:35-41; 6:45-52), but He is the one genuinely righteous/just, and sinless man who suffers for the sins of humanity. Jesus suffers in His Passion and offers His life in a sacrifice that is the will of God in His plan to bring about humanity’s redemption from sin and death.

God was with Job in his Suffering

The Lord God was with Jesus in the midst of His suffering, and He was also with Job. In both cases, the obedience of Jesus in accepting His suffering and the faith of Job despite his suffering led to Satan’s ultimate defeat. The result of their faith and obedience was that God rescued them. God rewarded Job with a new life and blessings that restored everything taken from him. And God resurrected Jesus to eternal glory, having fulfilled His mission to establish His Kingdom of the Church and defeating Satan and death by bringing the gift of redemption and eternal salvation to humanity.

Excerpts from Michal E. Hunt’s Agape Bible Study.  Material slightly reformatted. Used with permission.
Responsorial Psalm

God Commands the Sea

The response is: “Give thanks to the Lord; his love is everlasting.” Or “Alleluia.”

Today’s psalm reading prepares us for the Gospel Reading

The psalmist explains how those who sail the seas for a living witness the power of God in the ocean’s immense surging waves.  Psalm 107:25-26 offers a poetic image of the rising and falling waves in a storm at sea. The ship climbs to the crest of one wave only to slide down the back of the wave into what feels like the sea swallowing the ship into its depths. In such a terrifying trial, men of faith cry out to God, and the Lord in His mercy hears them. He quiets the raging waters and brings the ship to a safe harbor. The psalmist writes that Sailors who have experienced God’s mercy in this way should give Him thanks and tell others of God’s compassion for them amid the terrifying storm.

Today’s psalm also is a metaphor for life

There are times when life overwhelms us, and we fear we cannot survive. It is then that our faith is put to the test just as God tested Job’s faith. In those times, we must call upon the Lord God and put our faith and hope in Him, knowing that He has the power to save us and not even the great waves of the sea can oppose Him.  We must follow the Apostles’ example who, during a great storm at sea, called upon Jesus to save their lives, as we read in today’s Gospel reading (also see Mt 8:23-27). Jesus also has the power to save us from disaster as we battle the storms of life, and He can also deliver us from spiritual death with His gift of eternal life.

Excerpts from Michal E. Hunt’s Agape Bible Study.Material slightly reformatted. Used with permission.
Second Reading

A New Creation in Christ Jesus

In 2 Cor 5:14, St. Paul assures the Christians of Corinth that they have all died to sin with Christ in the waters of Christian Baptism, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, God raises them to a new life, just as He raised Jesus from death. Jesus died so that they might truly live in a resurrected life that defies the power of physical death. St. Paul tells them that Jesus’s death (described in  2 Cor  5:14-15) produces the new order in a new creation (2 Cor  5:17) with a new perspective of life in which life in the Spirit replaces life in the flesh. It is a new creation and a new order created by Christ through a New Covenant in His blood, as He announced at the Last Supper (Lk 22:19-20).

Excerpts from Michal E. Hunt’s Agape Bible Study.  Material slightly reformatted. Used with permission.

Jesus Calms the Storm

Jesus suggests to the Apostles that they sail to the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee. They are probably in the boats owned by Peter, his brother Andrew, and James and John Zebedee.  Sudden storms springing up on the Sea of Galilee are very common, and without warning, a huge storm overtakes the boats. In fear, the Apostles cry out to Jesus, who is asleep in the stern. Upon waking and seeing their peril, Jesus immediately calms the storm. This miracle is a private sign (away from the crowds) for the disciples and another event that points to a revelation about Jesus’s true identity. Only God can control nature; Jesus’s miracle in quieting the storm points to His divinity.

“Do you not yet have faith?”

Jesus was asking if they did not yet recognize His true identity and have faith that He is the divine Messiah promised by the prophets. What Jesus asked the disciples would become the lingering question from this event until after the Resurrection when Thomas confesses, “My Lord and my God!”  The first sign of His divinity was when Jesus forgave the sins of the paralyzed man, and the Pharisees asked: “Who but God can forgive sins?” (Mk 2:7).  The answer to that question, and the Apostles’ rhetorical question: “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?” in verse 41, is that only God can forgive sins and control the forces of nature.

The event in the Gospel is described in today’s Psalm reading

One wonders if they thought of Psalm 107:23-31 as the sea raged, and they were fearful the ship might sink in the waves. But God the Son heard their cries, calmed the sea, and brought them to safe harbor. If the Apostles were familiar with this psalm, they could not have missed the connection between God’s power over nature in calming the storm and Jesus demonstrating the same power over nature (see Mt 8:23-27, Mk 4:35-41, and Luke 8:22-25).  The only conclusion they could have reached was that Jesus, who commands the storm, is God!

God Saves Sailors in a Storm at Sea
Psalm 107:23-31
Jesus Calms the Storm in Matthew 8:23-27Mark 4:35-41, and Luke 8:22-25
Sailors in ships (Ps 107:23) Disciples in a boat (Mt 8:23Mk 4:36Lk 8:22)
Storm with wind and waves threatens ships (Ps 107:25-26a) Storm with wind and waves threatens the boat (Mt 8:24Mk 4:37Lk 8:23)
The sailors become frightened (Ps 107:26b) The disciples become frightened (Mt 8:25Mk 4:39aLk 8:23b)
The sailors cry out to the LORD/Yahweh (Ps 107:28a) The disciples cry out to Jesus (Mt 8:25Mk 4:39b; Lk 8:24a)
The LORD/Yahweh stops the storm (Ps 107:28b-29) Jesus stops the wind (Mt 8:26b; Mk 4:39c; Lk 8:24b)
The LORD/Yahweh calms the sea (Ps 107:30) Jesus orders the sea to be calm (Mt 8:26c; Mk 4:39d; Lk 8:24b)
Conclusion: God commands nature Conclusion: Jesus is God who commands nature
Michal E. Hunt

The disciples will have further evidence of Jesus’s divinity in a similar event when Jesus walked on the sea and calmed the storm in John 6:16-21. They may have remembered in the Book of Job when he told his friends only God could walk on the sea (Job 9:8).

An echo of God calming the sea in the Book of Jonah in today’s Gospel

Like Jonah, Jesus was asleep as the storm was raging. Others on the boat who feared for their lives had to awaken him (Jon 1:5-6Mk 4:38). In Jonah’s story, God calmed the sea and saved those on the boat, and in Mark’s story, God the Son calmed the storm and saved the Apostles. Jesus names the Galilean prophet Jonah more times than any other prophet in the Gospels. He also pointed to Jonah’s experience swallowed by the great fish and then released after three days as a sign of His death and resurrection (Mt 12:39-40). And, speaking of Jonah’s conversion of the Ninevites and their salvation, Jesus told the Jews, and look, there is something greater than Jonah here” (Mt 12:41), referring to Himself. The Gospel’s message for us is: if God can control the wind and sea, He is also able to save those who have faith and trust in Him when the storms of life threaten them, and He will never abandon us if we only have faith.

Excerpts from Michal E. Hunt’s Agape Bible Study.  Material slightly reformatted. Used with permission.

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

Niell Donavan

Sermon Writer

Richard Niell Donavan, a Disciples of Christ clergyman, published SermonWriter from 1997 until his death in 2020. His wife Dale has graciously kept his website online. A subscription is no longer required.


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Feasting on the WORD – YEAR B

Jesus Asks, “Why are You Afraid?”

GOSPEL: It is important to note that Jesus never says, “There is nothing to be afraid of.” The Galilean storm was doubtless indeed fearsome, as are the “wind and waves” that threaten us. Rather, Jesus asks, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” To help understand this distinction, imagine a scene such as this. A child awakens in the dark of the night, terrified at some dream that has disturbed child-sleep, frightened of some phantom hiding in the bedroom closet. A mother rushes into the bedroom and scoops the little one into her arms and sits in a chair. She wipes sweaty locks off her child’s forehead, caresses his hair, rocks her gently, and then she whispers what a thousand mothers have whispered since the beginning of time, “Hush now, there’s nothing to be afraid of.” The question these comforting words raise is simply this: “Is the mother telling the whole truth to her child? Is there really nothing to be afraid of?”

Although we often confuse them, saying, “there’s nothing to be afraid of” is a very different thing from saying, “do not be afraid.” The hard truth is that fearsome things are very real: isolation, pain, illness, meaninglessness, rejection, losing one’s job, money problems, failure, illness, and death. As we grow in faith, we come to understand that even though such fearsome things are very real, they do not have the last word. They do not have ultimate power over us, because reigning over this world of fearsome things is a God who is mightier than they. Time and again in Scripture the word is, “Do not be afraid.” It is, you might say, the first and the last word of the gospel. It is the word the angels speak to the terrified shepherds and the word spoken at the tomb when the women discover it empty: “Do not be afraid.” Not because there are no fearsome things on the sea of our days, not because there are no storms, fierce winds, or waves, but rather, because God is with us.

SOURCE: EXCERPT taken from FEASTING ON THE WORD – YEAR B. All rights reserved.

We Panic when We Lose Faith in the One We Should Trust

Mark 4:38 Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”

GOSPEL — Here we see the normal human reaction to something we cannot control. We do not see the spiritual response one would expect from those who have been with Jesus.
The apostles, in a panic, wake Jesus up. Just as the captain of Jonah’s ship chewed him out for sleeping while they were perishing, so the apostles criticize Jesus as well. Mark says they called Him “Teacher.” Matthew 8:25 says “Lord.” These are terms of respect and honor.
But then they demand, “Do you not care that we are perishing?” They question His love and concern for them. Frustrated by what appears to be indifference to their plight and facing a desperate situation they have no hope of handling themselves, they lash out in a rude outburst rather than exhibiting faith in the One who has proven Himself trustworthy.
It pains me greatly to see myself in the disciples. Jesus has proven Himself faithful to me over and over, yet when caught by surprise and squeezed in a vice of trouble, I fume rather than show faith.
Spurgeon, the great Baptist preacher, said, “God is too wise to err, too good to be unkind; leave off doubting Him, and begin to trust Him, for in so doing, you will put a crown on His head” (Spurgeon, Spurgeon’s Sermons, 3:1857). Let’s crown Him in faith, not doubt Him in unbelief.

SOURCE: EXCERPT taken from Christ-Centered Exposition. All rights reserved.

Nature is God’s Creation

GOSPEL: God created the heavens, earth, sun, moon, stars, seas, land, plants, animals, and man. Viewing His work, God pronounced it “good.” David sang, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork” (Ps. 19:1, KJV).

Original nature was good because it had unity and balance that worked together in the harmony that made the morning stars sing together. We still see the traces of that harmony. Astronauts rocket into space, assured that orderly laws of the universe will not be canceled during their flight. Naturalists see the beauty of the earth in the delicate and interlocking balance of plant life. Ecologists remind us that everything in the universe is so connected with everything else that when a person stubs a toe on earth, it is felt in Mars. No one can watch a sunset spreading in varicolored splendor across the western sky without wanting to exclaim, “It is good.” Thomas Higgins said it for us, “Creation is an overwhelming outpouring, the overflow of infinite good news.”1

At the same time, we recognize that nature is sin’s victim. Man’s fall from grace is so pervasive that even innocent nature is affected. As Paul writes to the Romans, physical nature joins human nature in the eager wait for redemption: “the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Rom. 8:21).

While nature awaits redemption, man has the responsibility to conserve and control its balance wherever possible. God makes man the steward of the earth and its resources when He blesses Adam and Eve in the Garden: “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Gen. 1:28, KJV).

SOURCE: Excerpt taken from THe Preacher’s Commentary, Complete 35-Volume Set: Genesis–Revelation offers pastors, teachers, and Bible study leaders clear and compelling insights into the entire Bible that will equip them to understand, apply, and teach the truth in God’s Word.

What is Mystery Cannot Always Be Arranged in the Place of Our Choosing

FIRST READING – In the hospital room everything has its place. The IV machine, the telephone, the rolling tray that holds the Styrofoam cup and straw, the reclining chair, the nurse who writes her name on the board in case you forget who is tending to your parishioners, or your father, your child, your grandparent, or you. Inside this room, the church and its messengers also have a place: comforting the afflicted, offering prayers to our God—we are mediators between the physical and the spiritual world. This is the place assigned to us not just by the hospital, but by the expectations of the people who call on the church for support. “Pray for me, pastor.” “Pray for healing in my child.” “Pray for a gentle death for my mother.” This is the place assigned to God’s representatives: one foot inside the cold, sterile hospital room, one foot inside the mystery that governs our meaning.

But by its definition, what is mystery cannot always be arranged in the place of our choosing. Try as we might, we cannot always bring order where there is chaos. We cannot always bring explanation to confusion, we cannot always arrange the rooms of our lives the way we want them. In these places of chaos, where our heart’s deep yearning shouts down our rational selves, we sometimes cry out to God.

Job raises his cry to God and gets a hearing. By some accounts it is not a good one. Overwhelmed by a recitation of natural mysteries that Job and our best theology cannot adequately explain, God’s forceful rhetoric seems to discourage the faithful from ever questioning the persistence of injustice, or the seeming silence of God in the face of suffering, or any other conundrum of our faith that leaves us hurting or dismayed. Reading Job, some may be tempted to wave the white flag to God and give up the struggle.

Many faith journeys stumble at this place. Sometimes those journeys are stymied with the encouragement of the church. Like Job’s friend, Eliphaz (Job 22), the church prefers to share what it knows from its cherished truisms: “God is good all the time”; “God’s will is sometimes hard for us to understand”; “God will not give us more than we can handle.” Like Eliphaz, we do not enjoy puzzling over mysteries that we cannot easily explain.

But that is what the church does when it is at its best—it summons mysteries that are not easily explained; it invites people into these mysteries, never in control of where those mysteries will lead or of what will happen to the people caught up in them. The church introduces people to the living God, as unpredictable and volatile as the sea bursting from its womb (38:8), or the clouds, unfurling a thick darkness too expansive for us to handle (vv. 9–10). This kind of encounter is not for the fainthearted. Job must “gird up [his] loins like a man” (v. 3), prepare himself for a physically taxing encounter. Perhaps this is part of the role of the church—to prepare the questioning faithful for what can be a demanding encounter with our God.

SOURCE: EXCERPT taken from FEASTING ON THE WORD – YEAR B. All rights reserved.

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12th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

commentary on readingsThe Catena Aurea (Golden Chain) is Thomas Aquinas’ compilation of Patristic commentary on the Gospels. It seamlessly weaves together extracts from various Church Fathers.

Annotated index of Church Fathers used in commentary

Third Century

  • Origen – Alexandrian biblical critic, exegete, theologian, and spiritual writer; analyzed the Scriptures on three levels: the literal, the moral, and the allegorical
  • Cyprian – pagan rhetorician converted to Christianity; acquired acquired a profound knowledge of the Scriptures and the writings of Tertullian; elected bishop of Carthage; martyred in 258

Fourth Century

  • Eusebius – Bishop of Caesarea; author of Ecclesiastical History, the principal source for the history of Christianity from the Apostolic Age till his own day; also wrote a valuable work on Biblical topography called the Onomasticon
  • Athanasius – Bishop of Alexandria; attended the Council of Nicea; opposed Arianism, in defence of the faith proclaimed at Nicaea—that is, the true deity of God the Son
  • Hilary – Bishop of Poitiers; the earliest known writer of hymns in the Western Church; defended the cause of orthodoxy against Arianism; became the leading Latin theologian of his age
  • Gregory of Nazianzus – one of the “Cappadocian Fathers”; a great influence in restoring the Nicene faith and leading to its final establishment at the Council of Constantinople in 381
  • Gregory of Nyssa – one of the “Cappadocian Fathers”; Bishop of Nyssa; took part in the Council of Constantinople
  • Ambrose – Bishop of Milan; partly responsible for the conversion of Augustine; author of Latin hymns; it was through his influence that hymns became an integral part of the liturgy of the Western Church
  • Jerome – biblical scholar; devoted to a life of asceticism and study; his greatest achievement was his translation of the Bible into Latin (the Vulgate); also wrote many biblical commentaries
  • Nemesius – Christian philosopher; Bishop of Emesa in Syria
  • Augustine – Bishop of Hippo (in northern Africa); a “Doctor of the Church”; most famous work is his Confessions; his influence on the course of subsequent theology has been immense
  • Chrysostom – Bishop of Constantinople; a “Doctor of the Church”; a gifted orator; his sermons on Gen, Ps, Isa, Matt, John, Acts, and the Pauline Epistles (including Hebrews) established him as the greatest of Christian expositors
  • Prosper of Aquitaine – theologian; supporter of Augustinian doctrines; closely associated with Pope Leo I (“the Great”)
  • Damasus – pope; active in suppressing heresy
  • Apollinaris of Laodicea – Bishop of Laodicea; close friend of Athanasias; vigorous advocate of orthodoxy against the Arians
  • Amphilochius of Iconium – Bishop of Iconium; close friend of the Cappadocian Fathers; defended the full Divinity of the Holy Spirit

Fifth Century

  • Asterius of Amasea – Arian theologian; some extant homilies on the Psalms attributed to him
  • Evagrius Ponticus – spiritual writer; noted preacher at Constantinople; spent the last third of his life living a monastic life in the desert
  • Isidore of Pelusium – an ascetic and exegete; his extant correspondence contains much of doctrinal, exegetical, and moral interest
  • Cyril of Alexandria – Patriarch of Alexandria; contested Nestorius; put into systematic form the classical Greek doctrines of the Trinity and of the Person of Christ
  • Maximus of Turin – Bishop of Turin; over 100 of his sermons survive
  • Cassion (prob. Cassian) – one of the great leaders of Eastern Christian monasticism; founded two monasteries near Marseilles; best known books the Institutes and the Conferences
  • Chrysologus – Bishop of Ravenna; a “Doctor of the Church”
  • Basil “the Great” – one of the “Cappadocian Fathers”; Bishop of Caesarea; responsible for the Arian controversy’s being put to rest at the Council of Constantinople
  • Theodotus of Ancyra – Bishop of Ancyra; wrote against the teaching of Nestorius
  • Leo the Great – Pope who significantly consolidated the influence of the Roman see; a “Doctor of the Church”; his legates defended Christological orthodoxy at the Council of Chalcedon
  • Gennadius – Patriarch of Constantinople; the author of many commentaries, notably on Genesis, Daniel, and the Pauline Epistles
  • Victor of Antioch – presbyter of Antioch; commentator and collector of earlier exegetical writings
  • Council of Ephesus – declared the teachings of Nestorious heretical, affirming instead the unity between Christ’s human and divine natures
  • Nilus – Bishop of Ancyra; disciple of St John Chrysostom; founder of a monastery; conducted a large correspondence influencing his contemporaries; his writings deal mainly with ascetic and moral subjects

Sixth Century

  • Dionysius Areopagita (aka Dionysius the Pseudo-Areopagite) – mystical theologian; combined Neoplatonism with Christianity; the aim of all his works is the union of the whole created order with God
  • Gregory the Great – Pope; a “Doctor of the Church”; very prolific writer of works on practical theology, pastoral life, expositions of Job, sermons on the Gospels, etc.
  • Isidore – Bishop of Seville; a “Doctor of the Church”; concerned with monastic discipline, clerical education, liturgical uniformity, conversion of the Jews; helped secure Western acceptance of Filioque clause
  • Eutychius (Patriarch of Constan­tinople) – consecrated the church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople; defended the Chalcedonian faith against an unorthodox sect; became controversial later in life
  • Isaac (Bp. of Nineveh) (aka Isaac the Syrian) – monastic writer on ascetic subjects
  • Severus (Bp. of Antioch) – Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch; the leading theologian of the moderate Monophysites
  • John Climacus – ascetic and writer on the spiritual life; later Abbot of Mt. Sinai; best known for his Ladder of Divine Ascent which treats of the monastic virtues and vices
  • Fulgentius – Bishop of Ruspe in N. Africa; scholarly disposition; follower of St. Augustine; wrote many treatises against Arianism and Pelagianism

Seventh Century

  • Maximus ( of Constantinople, 645.) – Greek theologian; prolific writer on doctrinal, ascetical, exegetical, and liturgical subjects

Eighth Century

  • Bede (131CESK) – “the Venerable Bede”; a “Doctor of the Church”; pedagogue, biblical exegete, hagiographer, and historian, the most influential scholar from Anglo-Saxon England
  • John Damascene – Greek theologian; a “Doctor of the Church”; defender of images in the Iconoclastic Controversy; expounded the doctrine of the perichoresis (circumincession) of the Persons of the Trinity
  • Alcuin – Abbot of St. Martin’s (Tours); a major contributor to the Carolingian Renaissance; supervised the production of several complete editions of the Bible; responsible for full acceptance of the Vulgate in the West

Ninth Century

  • Haymo (of Halberstadt) – German Benedictine monk who became bishop of Halberstadt; prolific writer
  • Photius (of Constantinople) – Patriarch of Constantinople; a scholar of wide interests and encyclopedic knowledge; his most important work, Bibliotheca, is a description of several hundred books (many now lost), with analyses and extracts; also wrote a Lexicon
  • Rabanus Maurus – Abbot of Fulda in Hess Nassau; later Archbishop of Mainz; wrote commentaries on nearly every Book of the Bible
  • Remigius (of Auxerre) monk, scholar, and teacher
  • Paschasius Radbertus – Carolingian theologian; wrote commentaries on Lamentations and Matthew, as well as the first doctrinal monograph on the Eucharist, he maintained the real Presence of Christ

Eleventh Century

  • Theophylact – Byzantine exegete; his principal work, a series of commentaries on several OT books and on the whole of the NT except Revelation, is marked by lucidity of thought and expression and closely follows the scriptural text
  • Anselm – Archbishop of Canterbury; a “Doctor of the Church”; highly regarded teacher and spiritual director; famous ontological argument for the existence of God as “that than which nothing greater can be thought”
  • Petrus Alphonsus – Jewish Spanish writer and astronomer, a convert to Christianity; one of the most important figures in anti-Judaic polemics
  • Laufranc (prob. Lanfranc) – Archbishop of Canterbury; commented on the Psalms and Pauline Epistles; his biblical commentary passed into the Glossa Ordinaria
Catena Aurea

Mark 4:35-41

35. And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.

36. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.

37. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.

38. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?

39. And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

40. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

41. And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?


PSEUDO-JEROME. After His teaching, they come from that place to the sea, and are tossed by the waves. Wherefore it is said, And the same day, when the even was come, &c.

REMIGIUS. For the Lord is said to have had three places of refuge, namely, the ship, the mountain, and the desert. As often as He was pressed upon by the multitude, he used to fly to one of these. When therefore the Lord saw many crowds about Him, as man, He wished to avoid their importunity, and ordered His disciples to go over to the other side. There follows: And sending away the multitudes, they took him, &c,

CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. in Matt. 28) The Lord took the disciples indeed, that they might be spectators of the miracle which was coming, but He took them alone, that no others might see that they were of such little faith. Wherefore, to shew that others went across separately, it is said, And there were also with him other ships. Lest again the disciples might be proud of being alone taken, He permits them to be in danger; and besides this, in order that they might learn to bear temptations manfully. Wherefore it goes on, And there arose a great storm of wind; and that He might impress upon them a greater sense of the miracle which was to be done, He gives time for their fear, by sleeping. Wherefore there follows, And he was himself in the hinder part of the ship, &c. For if He had been awake, they would either not have feared, nor have asked Him to save them when the storm arose, or they would not have thought that He could do any such things.

THEOPHYLACT. Therefore He allowed them to fall into the fear of danger, that they might experience His power in themselves, who saw others benefitted by Him. But He was sleeping upon the pillow of the ship, that is, on a wooden one.

CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. in Matt. 28) Shewing His humility, and thus teaching us many lessons of wisdom. But not yet did the disciples who remained about Him know His glory; they thought indeed that if He arose He could command the winds, but could by no means do so reposing or asleep. And therefore there follows, And they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?

THEOPHYLACT. But He arising, rebukes first the wind, which was raising the tempest of the sea, and causing the waves to swell, and this is expressed in what follows, And he arose, and rebuked the wind; then He commands the sea; wherefore it goes on, And he said to the sea, Peace, be still.

GLOSS. (non occ.) For from the troubling of the sea there arises a certain sound, which appears to be its voice threatening danger, and therefore, by a sort of metaphor, He fitly commands tranquillity by a word signifying silence: just as in the restraining of the winds, which trouble the sea with their violence, He uses a rebuke. For men who are in power are accustomed to curb those, who rudely disturb the peace of mankind, by threatening to punish them; by this, therefore, we are given to understand, that, as a king can repress violent men by threats, and by his edicts sooth the murmurs of his people, so Christ, the King of all creatures, by His threats restrained the violence of the winds, and compelled the sea to be silent. And immediately the effect followed, for it continues, And the wind ceased, which He had threatened, and there arose a great calm, that is, in the sea, to which He had commanded silence.

THEOPHYLACT. He rebuked His disciples, for not having faith; for it goes on, And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have not faith? For if they had had faith, they would have believed that even when sleeping, He could preserve them safe. There follows, And they feared with a great fear, and said one to another, &c. For they were in doubt about Him, for since He stilled the sea, not with a rod like Moses, nor with prayers as Elisha at the Jordan, nor with the ark as Joshua, the son of Nun, on this account they thought Him truly God, but since He was asleep, they thought Him a man.

PSEUDO-JEROME. Mystically, however, the hinder part of the ship is the beginning of the Church, in which the Lord sleeps in the body only, for He never sleepeth who keepeth Israel; for the ship with its skins of dead animals keeps in the living, and keeps out the waves, and is bound together by wood, that is, by the cross and the death of the Lord the Church is saved. The pillow is the body of the Lord, on which His Divinity, which is as His head, has come down. But the wind and the sea are devils and persecutors, to whom He says Peace, when He restrains the edicts of impious kings, as He will. The great calm is the peace of the Church after oppression, or a contemplative after an active life.

BEDE. (ubi sup.) Or else the ship into which He embarked, is taken to mean the tree of His passion, by which the faithful attain to the security of the safe shore. The other ships which are said to have been with the Lord, signify those, who are imbued with faith in the cross of Christ, and are not beaten about by the whirlwind of tribulation; or who, after the storms of temptation, are enjoying the serenity of peace. And whilst His disciples are sailing on, Christ is asleep, because the time of our Lord’s Passion came on His faithful ones, when they were meditating on the rest of His future reign. Wherefore it is related, that it took place late, that not only the sleep of our Lord, but the hour itself of departing light, might signify the setting of the true Sun. Again, when He ascended the cross, of which the stern of the ship was a type, His blaspheming persecutors rose like the waves against Him, driven on by the storms of the devils, by which, however, His own patience is not disturbed, but His foolish disciples are struck with amazement. The disciples awake the Lord, because they sought, with most earnest wishes, the resurrection of Him whom they had seen die. Rising up, He threatened the wind, because when He had triumphed in His resurrection, He prostrated the pride of the devil. He ordered the sea to be still, that is, in rising again, He cast down the rage of the Jews. The disciples are blamed, because after His resurrection, He chid them for their unbelief. And we also when being marked with the sign of the Lord’s cross, we determine to quit the world, embark in the ship with Christ; we attempt to cross the sea; but, He goes to sleep, as we are sailing amidst the roaring of the waters, when amidst the strivings of our virtues, or amidst the attacks of evil spirits, of wicked men, or of our own thoughts, the flame of our love grows cold. Amongst storms of this sort, let us diligently strive to awake Him; He will soon restrain the tempest, pour down peace upon us, give us the harbour of salvation.

SOURCE: eCatholic 2000 Commentary in public domain.

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

First Reading

The Ways of an Infinite God

Job 38:8
“Who decreed the boundaries of the seas when they gushed from the depths? Who clothed them with clouds and thick darkness

New Living Translation (Hover cursor above the scripture reference to read the NRSV version)

JOB 38:2–39:30 God used a series of questions to illustrate how little Job knew about creation and God’s ways. If Job knew nothing of these mysteries, how could he know anything about God’s character? All Job could do was worship and trust God.

We, too, wonder why we suffer. We wonder why bad things happen to us and those we love. But like Job, we are finite and cannot understand the ways of our infinite God. All we can do is praise him and await his deliverance.

SOURCE: Content taken from THE LIFE RECOVERY BIBLE notes by Stephen Arterburn & David Stoop. Copyright © 1998, 2017. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved.


Turning to God for Help

Psalm 107:28-29
Then they cry to the Lord in their trouble, and he saves them. He calms the storm and stills the waves.

PS 107:23-32 Sometimes we may feel that we are in a small ship plowing through stormy seas and about to go under. Bad memories and a sense of failure make our world seem dark and hopeless. The longer the storm rages, the more we fear and lose all hope of rescue.

But when we cry out to God in our trouble, he will turn our storm-tossed life into a calm and peaceful sea and restore our joy. We must turn to him for help, follow his plan for healthy living, and patiently await his deliverance.

SOURCE: Content taken from THE LIFE RECOVERY BIBLE notes by Stephen Arterburn & David Stoop. Copyright © 1998, 2017. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved.

Second Reading

New Life in Christ

2 Corinthians 5:17
When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun!

2 COR 5:17 The new life we experience in Jesus Christ is so far-reaching and complete that we become a brand-new person through him. That does not mean that our thoughts and habits, including our compulsion or addiction, will automatically vanish. But it does mean that from God’s point of view, we have been forgiven—we are a new creature in his sight. And through the power of God’s Holy Spirit, we have all the power necessary for complete transformation in every area of our life.

SOURCE: Content taken from THE LIFE RECOVERY BIBLE notes by Stephen Arterburn & David Stoop. Copyright © 1998, 2017. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved.


Jesus Has the Power to Calm Our Storm-tossed Life

Mark 4:40-41
And he asked them, “Why were you so fearful? Don’t you even yet have confidence in me?”  And they were filled with awe and said among themselves, “Who is this man, that even the winds and seas obey him?”

MARK 4:35-41 The disciples were awed when Jesus demonstrated his power over nature; even the wind and the waves obeyed him! Seeing this incredible display of power should strengthen our faith in God. Just as he was able to calm the stormy sea, he has the power to calm our storm-tossed life.

With Jesus in our boat, we need not fear the storms of life that threaten to drown us. No storm is too violent or powerful for Jesus to calm. We should never hesitate to cry out, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” (4:38).

SOURCE: Content taken from THE LIFE RECOVERY BIBLE notes by Stephen Arterburn & David Stoop. Copyright © 1998, 2017. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved.

Betraying God

Mark 14:18
and as they were sitting around the table eating, Jesus said, “I solemnly declare that one of you will betray me, one of you who is here eating with me.”

MK 14:10-26 We are often shocked by Judas’s betrayal of Jesus. Since Judas had spent about three years in close friendship with Jesus, we wonder what could have prompted him to act as he did.

Yet if we are truly honest with ourself, we may see the same potential in our own heart. Whenever we refuse to give Jesus authority over a certain area of our life, we act like Judas. Whenever we promise to do one thing and then do another, we act like Judas. We all have betrayed God in some way or another. We should use Judas’s failure as an opportunity to take a hard look at our own life. In what ways are we betraying God?

SOURCE: Content taken from THE LIFE RECOVERY BIBLE notes by Stephen Arterburn & David Stoop. Copyright © 1998, 2017. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved.

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