On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4: 35-41)
This reading is often seen as an allegory of the nascent church, the boat being swept by the waves in a great windstorm, on the verge of being swamped or capsized. The external forces working against the church seemed insurmountable, and its members wondered where Jesus was; but he was there, as he is here now, and the day was saved.
Those external forces we have known for over two millennia. We understand the persecution, confiscation of property, imprisonment, even martyrdom. Today, our church is again being challenged, not from the outside but sadly from within. It is as if someone is trying to put a hole in the boat and sink it.