Screaming at God

June 20, 2021   Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Lectionary: 95)

Reading I   Jb 38:1, 8-11
The Lord addressed Job out of the storm and said:
Who shut within doors the sea,
when it burst forth from the womb;
when I made the clouds its garment
and thick darkness its swaddling bands?
When I set limits for it
and fastened the bar of its door,
and said: Thus far shall you come but no farther,
and here shall your proud waves be stilled!

Responsorial Psalm   107:23-24, 25-26, 28-29, 30-31
R. (1b) Give thanks to the Lord, his love is everlasting.
R. Alleluia.
They who sailed the sea in ships,
trading on the deep waters,
These saw the works of the LORD
and his wonders in the abyss.
R. Give thanks to the Lord, his love is everlasting.
R. Alleluia.
His command raised up a storm wind
which tossed its waves on high.
They mounted up to heaven; they sank to the depths;
their hearts melted away in their plight.
R. Give thanks to the Lord, his love is everlasting.
R. Alleluia.
They cried to the LORD in their distress;
from their straits he rescued them,
He hushed the storm to a gentle breeze,
and the billows of the sea were stilled.
R. Give thanks to the Lord, his love is everlasting.
R. Alleluia.
They rejoiced that they were calmed,
and he brought them to their desired haven.
Let them give thanks to the LORD for his kindness
and his wondrous deeds to the children of men.
R. Give thanks to the Lord, his love is everlasting.
R. Alleluia.

Reading II   2 Cor 5:14-17
Brothers and sisters:
The love of Christ impels us,
once we have come to the conviction that one died for all;
therefore, all have died.
He indeed died for all,
so that those who live might no longer live for themselves
but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

Consequently, from now on we regard no one according to the flesh;
even if we once knew Christ according to the flesh,
yet now we know him so no longer.
So whoever is in Christ is a new creation:
the old things have passed away;
behold, new things have come.

Alleluia   Lk 7:16
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A great prophet has risen in our midst
God has visited his people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel   Mk 4:35-41
On that day, as evening drew on, Jesus said to his disciples:
“Let us cross to the other side.”
Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus with them in the boat just as he was.
And other boats were with him.
A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat,
so that it was already filling up.
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?”
He woke up,
rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!”
The wind ceased and there was great calm.
Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified?
Do you not yet have faith?”
They were filled with great awe and said to one another,
“Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”

By Nicholas Sciarappa

I can vividly remember when I was called into my pastor’s office in March of 2020, and promptly found out that my salary was going to be cut as a result of the pandemic.

I was not special: plenty of people were under employed during the opening month of the pandemic, but church salaries aren’t excellent. Getting a pay cut was not an option for me. I was planning a wedding with the date set for August 15, 2020.

I didn’t know what to do, except scream at God in prayer.

The news sent me spiraling into fear. I remember praying that night saying, “Jesus, I could have chosen a career that would pay me. I could have done something that the world would say is successful. I could have done whatever I wanted, but YOU called me to work at a church… and now look at what is happening.”

My prayers were vindictive and full of panic. I had followed Jesus through so many ups and downs in my life, but in this moment the “downs” were the only thing I could think of. I felt like a disciple on a boat with a Lord who didn’t seem to care about the boat sinking. I prayed over and over, “Don’t You see what this career choice has brought me, your son?” The irony of a church worker not trusting in the Lord, even though they preach messages of trust to parishioners every week, does not escape me.

I’m not sure why it is so hard to absorb the message of Jesus in this week’s Gospel when He says, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?”

Maybe it is because we think He says those words in a judgmental way, as if He was mocking His disciples. But Jesus does not ever give us any reason to assume he would judge or mock. Writing to you now, my view of Jesus speaking to the disciples on the boat has changed.

5 months after I lost a portion of my salary, I got it back. My wedding was perfect. My finances were in good shape. Jesus didn’t mock me by not providing for me during the pandemic. He provided for me, prompting me with deeper awe, just as He did with disciples. That awe only helps me to lean on Him more today.


Nick Sciarappa is the Director of Youth Ministry at Sts. John and Paul Parish in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. He’s worked for the church in many capacities including as a journalist at the National Catholic Reporter, and as the digital Media Strategist for the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Nick produces “Clerically Speaking” a podcast where two Catholic priests talk about the priestly life that you don’t see at Mass.  Nick is married to his illustrious wife Riley, and thinks she is pretty neat. Follow Nick on Twitter and tweet something funny at him.

Older Post
Newer Post

Leave a comment

Close (esc)


We've changed thousands of lives with a simple process and you can do it too. Subscribe below and let's get started on your best self.

Age verification

By clicking enter you are verifying that you are old enough to consume alcohol.


Shopping Cart

Your cart is currently empty.
Shop now