Pause and listen
Reflections on the readings for the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (August 9, 2020): 1 KGS 19:9,11-13; PS 85:9,10,11-12,13-14; ROM 9:1-5; MT 14:22-33
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
The readings for this Sunday call us to think about faith. Where do we find it? What does it mean to us? How does it change us? When we meet the prophet Elijah in the first reading, he is alone, discouraged and hiding in a mountain cave. But then He receives the message that the Lord will pass by. First a great wind envelops the mountain. Next, there is an earthquake, followed by fire. Yet Elijah realizes that the Lord was revealing Himself in none of these dynamic forces. “After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went and stood at the entrance of the cave” (1 Kings 19:12-13).
Perhaps Elijah was so caught up by the power of the wind, earthquake, and fire that he was unable to recognize God’s presence until all these distractions stopped. And he finally lets himself just listen. Only when Elijah allowed God to approach him in the way He wanted and cooperated with Him and His way of doing things, could the prophet ultimately hear the Lord. Elijah needed to stop everything that he was doing and thinking and imagining. When he let God be the one in charge, in fact, when he just let God be, Elijah could just be, too. He could know what God wanted from him and that He would be with him as he served God and helped His people in a difficult time when the faith of many was being challenged. Too often we are sure of the way things ought to be simply because that is how we expect them or want them to be. Let us remember Elijah and let God speak to us in His own way. We have only to pause and listen.