19th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Kings 19: 9a, 11-13a Romans 9: 1-5 Matt. 14: 22-33
The scariest moment of my life was on top of a hill at the Cortland campus with skis attached to me, poles in hand, and the challenge of pushing off. Despite the exercises to condition us for the activity and directions on how to navigate down the steep hill, I discovered my “chicken little.”
Today’s readings bring me back to that moment, as I reflect on Elijah inside a cave as he is confronted with an earthquake, then a fire. Who in their right mind would venture out into such forces of nature? Yet, we have witnessed people who have survived or been rescued from these storms. Impetuous Peter commands Jesus to come to him by navigating the stormy sea on his bare feet. Unfortunately, the initial trust in his miracle making leader leaves him, and his fear overcomes his faith.
It is in these readings and recalling our faith journey, that we can find out more about ourselves. In the chaos of personal and world events, some leap into life threatening situations, while others become overwhelmed and rationalize why it is best to save themselves. It is not here where we find the faithful God, it is in the soft whispering sound that Elijah heard that we discover intimacy with the One who is always near, whether it be peaceful or turbulent.
Questions to ponder which would lead Jesus to say to us: “O you of little faith.”
Where do I find the God within, or do I even search for God when confronted with adversity?
What is my pattern of behavior when I witness violence in nature or human conflict?
Once I act out, do I trust the challenge will be completed in partnership with God?
In this summertime of relaxation and occasional thunder and lightning and wind, help me to know and grow in your abiding presence.
Sister Dorothy Maxwell, O.P.