Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session
Job 38:1, 8-11
Mark 4:35-41

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
Loving God,
You sent Jesus to us to show us your power but especially to show us how much you love us. Help us know that when we are frightened by things we can’t figure out, you are strength for us and will never leave our side. Through Jesus Christ, your Son, we make our prayer. Amen.

Opening Life Reflection

Gather symbols of people who need God’s protection. You might find newspaper articles, parish bulletin announcements, or flyers from organizations. Put them in a prominent place in your home and take time to pray for these people each day. Try to think of one thing you can do to help at least one person.

Listening to the Word of God

The writer of Job uses nature to show the power of God. Prior to this passage, the chaos of Job’s life was revealed.

Read Job 38:1, 8-11
Allow for silence.


Scripture Discussion Starters

• What point was God trying to make to Job about power?
• Why do you suppose the sea is used a symbol of chaos in this passage?
• Can Job, alone, calm the storm his life has become?

In another stormy situation, Jesus calms the sea and the fears of his disciples. When things had settled down, Jesus questioned them about their lack of faith.

Read Mark 4:35-41
Allow for silence.

• Why were the disciples so frightened in the boat?
• What did Jesus do when the disciples woke him and he saw the stormy sea?
• Why was it important for the disciples to know that Jesus could calm the sea?

Scripture Background

Mark has a specific purpose in telling his audience this story. He wants them to have faith even though they face turbulence. People of the early Church were persecuted and many lost heart in the chaos. The sea is in chaos, too, but Mark uses the story to show people that God is always with them. The story helps the disciples, the people of Mark’s day, and us today to know that we must have a strong faith in Jesus and the power of God.

Questions for Deeper Reflection

• What do you think it would have been like for you on the boat with the disciples?
• In what ways do we see God calm the storms of our world today?
• How has Jesus helped calm the storms (fears) in your own life?

[If you are not going to continue with the doctrinal discussion, proceed to the Gospel in Life.]

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
The Power of God
Through creation, we know about God’s great power. Out of love for us, God created the world. From nothingness, the world was created with us in it. The world God created contains both good and evil. The world is not a perfect world but is working toward perfection in the fullness of God’s time. God has promised us eternal life and sent Jesus to us to be our savior. It is this savior, Jesus, who calmed the storm at sea for the disciples, and he will calm the storms in our own lives as well.

• Is there someone you know right now who needs help calming a storm? How will you show them Jesus?
• What do you need to do to deepen your faith and trust in God’s power?
• Where have you seen God calm storms (in the world? in your church, school, work)?


Sacrament Connection
We are always changing and usually grow in the process. Sometimes painful things happen that cause us to change. It’s possible that we might be responsible for the very thing that hurts. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is like Jesus calming the storm. The storm could be the hurtful thing we did, but Jesus loves us and forgives us so we can grow from our experience. God is there to help us be a better person and the calm sea is us living in a way that pleases God.

The Gospel in Life
Stormy seas are everywhere. They are in our personal lives, our schools, neighborhoods, all around the world. What is one thing you will do to help calm one storm this week and how will you ask Jesus to help you?

Posted in: Sessions B