August 9, 2020 - 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
“LORD let us see your kindness
and grant us your salvation.”
I Kings 19:9a, 11-13a
Romans 9: 1-5
By Sister Judith Bloxham, OSB
In the first reading of today Elijah does not experience the Lord or hear Him calling in a hurricane-like storm, or in an earthquake, or in a gigantic forest fire. We may experience from time to time, climatic things happening in our lives such as the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. All the more reason why we need to pursue a time and place of peace and quiet in our lives, even without minute by minute checking the news on our cell phone or television. Do we not need to find ways to experience the Lord in times and ways of peace and quiet our lives… as in a tiny whispering breeze Elijah heard when he left the cave. Even the Lord needed to get away from all the tumult in His life and pray in isolation on the mountain.
However, St. Paul reminds us, that there are times of sorrow and anguish in our lives when we can offer these difficult times for the sake of others who may be suffering much more than ourselves. Jesus had to remind Peter and His disciples that He was with them in the storm on the Sea of Galilee. “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” When Peter thought he could walk on water, he quickly, and in humility, discovered that his only recourse was to pray. Perhaps he needed a quiet space in the water which engendered his humble prayer, “Lord, save me!”. Jesus immediately stretched out his hand and rescued Peter saying, “Oh you of little faith, why did you doubt?”.
Can we sometimes hear Jesus murmuring in our hearts, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” I pray that each of us may become the living expression of these words of comfort when we encounter others in our lives at this time.
From the Rule of St. Benedict
“I have resolved to keep watch over my ways… I am guarded about the way I speak and have accepted silence in humility...” “Speaking and teaching are the master’s task; the disciple is to be silent and listen.” Rule of Benedict, Chapter 6, Verse 1, 6
“I wait for the Lord; my soul waits for his word.” Cf. Psalm 130:5