19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
We live in a world facing an increasing number of natural disasters. In various places, fires rage, destroying forests and polluting the air we breathe. Storms with damaging wind and flooding are having devasting effects.
We are plagued by other storms as well. Wars that have caused significant dislocations of people, illnesses, broken relationships at the personal and national levels, and churches that are not full due to apathy or hurt. We pray: Lord save us!
And we ask with urgency—Lord, where are you? To help us answer our question, the readings today offer two experiences. Peter and the disciples faced the wind and the storm on the sea, seemingly alone. And yet when Jesus comes to them, they fail to see him. Recognizing Jesus, Peter steps out in faith but falters through fear. We hear, O you of little faith, why did you doubt. We understand. We have been there many times. Stepping out in faith only to turn back in fear that we cannot do this or that we are not worthy of what the Lord offers us.
Elijah finds himself in the cave due to fear of what he is being asked to do as a prophet. It is too much! The Lord comes to him not in the fire or the wind, not in the spectacular. But in a tiny whispering sound. How often we look for the spectacular and miss the real coming!
Jesus gets into the boat, the winds die down, and the storm ceases. Elijah finds the Lord in a tiny whispering sound. God chooses to come to us in gentleness. In the love of another, he comes as a companion. In our prayer, he comes as a gentle presence offering peace. In the Eucharist, he comes as bread to nourish our faith.
Are we listening?
Let us pray:
Gracious Lord, we give you thanks for the many times you have saved us from our fear and doubt. We ask that you fill us with your Spirit so that we might learn how to listen for you in the many ways you come to us, especially in the needs of others. Enable us to respond. Amen.