First reading Hebrews 11:1-2,8-19

Abraham looked forward to a city founded, designed and built by God

Only faith can guarantee the blessings that we hope for, or prove the existence of the realities that at present remain unseen. It was for faith that our ancestors were commended.
  It was by faith that Abraham obeyed the call to set out for a country that was the inheritance given to him and his descendants, and that he set out without knowing where he was going. By faith he arrived, as a foreigner, in the Promised Land, and lived there as if in a strange country, with Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. They lived there in tents while he looked forward to a city founded, designed and built by God.
  It was equally by faith that Sarah, in spite of being past the age, was made able to conceive, because she believed that he who had made the promise would be faithful to it. Because of this, there came from one man, and one who was already as good as dead himself, more descendants than could be counted, as many as the stars of heaven or the grains of sand on the seashore.
  All these died in faith, before receiving any of the things that had been promised, but they saw them in the far distance and welcomed them, recognising that they were only strangers and nomads on earth. People who use such terms about themselves make it quite plain that they are in search of their real homeland. They can hardly have meant the country they came from, since they had the opportunity to go back to it; but in fact they were longing for a better homeland, their heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, since he has founded the city for them.
  It was by faith that Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac. He offered to sacrifice his only son even though the promises had been made to him and he had been told: It is through Isaac that your name will be carried on. He was confident that God had the power even to raise the dead; and so, figuratively speaking, he was given back Isaac from the dead.
 

Responsorial Psalm Luke 1:69-75

Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel; he has come to his people.

and he has established for us a saving power in the House of his servant David,

 

just as he proclaimed, by the mouth of his holy prophets from ancient times,

that he would save us from our enemies and from the hands of all those who hate us,

and show faithful love to our ancestors, and so keep in mind his holy covenant.

 

this was the oath he swore to our father Abraham,

that he would grant us, free from fear, to be delivered from the hands of our enemies,

to serve him in holiness and uprightness in his presence, all our days.

 

Gospel Mark 4:35-41

‘Even the wind and the sea obey him’

With the coming of evening, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Let us cross over to the other side.’ And leaving the crowd behind they took him, just as he was, in the boat; and there were other boats with him. Then it began to blow a gale and the waves were breaking into the boat so that it was almost swamped. But he was in the stern, his head on the cushion, asleep. They woke him and said to him, ‘Master, do you not care? We are going down!’ And he woke up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Quiet now! Be calm!’ And the wind dropped, and all was calm again. Then he said to them, ‘Why are you so frightened? How is it that you have no faith?’ They were filled with awe and said to one another, ‘Who can this be? Even the wind and the sea obey him.’
 
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Why are you afraid? Where is your faith?

“Master, do you not care? We are lost!”. The words of the disciples express their great fear as they faced the threatening storm. We, like the disciples, when face with challenges in life, we wonder, “Lord, don’t you care that I am suffering?”. In this time of prayer, we are invited to contemplate Jesus sleeping with his head on the cushion in the storm. Jesus’ sleeping in the storm reflects His deep trust in God, which gave Him inner peace. After he calmed the storm, Jesus turned to His disciples and asked, “Why are you so frightened? Have you still no faith?” In our own storms, we need to have faith that perceives God’s loving presence with us. With Him, we can walk on with peace.

Reflective question:
Do I allow fear or faith to lead me, especially when I face the storms in life?

Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year A” by Sr Sandra Seow FMVD.