It is year B of the liturgical cycle, the year that highlights the gospel of Mark. With the passage of Pentecost, the late ordinary time begins, the longest and latest segment of ordinary time which runs from the end of Easter time until the beginning of Advent, from June to the end of November.
Each liturgical cycle has an overall plan, an intentionally chosen sequence of readings that focuses on various aspects of discipleship. In addition, each passage of the gospel reveals one or more things about who Jesus is; he makes a Christological declaration. Following the two great doctrinal feasts of the Most Holy Trinity and of the Body and Blood of Christ in year B, there is a five-week series of Gospel readings from Mark chapters four through six that begins the twelfth week and continues through week Sixteen, which highlight different aspects of the identity of Jesus.
Week Twelve recounts how Jesus calmed a storm at sea (Mk 4, 35-41). Jesus showed authority over the forces of nature, a power unknown to any human being, a power reserved for God alone. Jesus has the power of the Creator, the power of God. In addition, Jesus stood at the head of the boat, symbol of the Church; he is at the head of the Body of Christ.
Week thirteen recounts how Jesus healed a woman suffering from a hemorrhage and raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead (Mk 5: 21-43). Jesus has authority over two things that petrify human beings, sickness and death. Jesus has the power to heal, he is the great healer, and the power to resurrect, he is the great giver of life.
Fourteenth week remembers the time Jesus returned to Nazareth to teach in the synagogue in his hometown (Mk 6: 1-6). When some in the audience objected to him, he replied, “No prophet is without honor in his native land.” Jesus is the teacher and the great prophet.
Week Fifteen recalls the commission of the disciples, how Jesus sent the Twelve two by two to do his work (Mk 6, 7-13). Jesus identified the mission, selected the staff, shared his power with them, and officially commissioned and sent them. Jesus is commander and leader.
Ultimately, Week sixteen relates the occasion when Jesus tried to go with the disciples to get a well-deserved rest, but how the people relentlessly pursued him (Mk 6: 30-34). They were like sheep without a shepherd, so he began to teach them. Jesus has the power to attract. He is the magnetic. He cares like no other. He is the Good Shepherd, and like the Fourteenth Week, again, he is the teacher.
Category: Catholic Hotdish