This is the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time. We hear about Elija in our reading from the book of Kings. Elija is having a vocation crisis. People don’t like his messages. Elija slaughtered all the prophets of Baal and is now receiving death threats from Jezebel who travels for 40 days to Mt. Horab, also known as Mt. Sinai. Elija is distressed at the people’s lack of faith, and their fidelity to God’s covenant. He’s looking for some reassurance from God that he is on the right track. He waits for this experience. There is a strong wind, an earthquake, and fire. God is not in these. Then he hears a tiny whisper. It is God! Elija covers his face out of reverence. Elija receives comfort, consolation, and encouragement from God. As it will be for all of us. God is there for us always and comes to us in a variety of ways. We just have to pay attention! He will never abandon us.
St. Paul in his letter to the Romans is distressed over our fellow Jews who have not accepted Jesus as the Messiah. St. Paul is willing to give up everything to get the message of Jesus out to the Jews and Gentiles. God has favored the people of Israel and showered many blessings and gifts upon them. Yet they still persisted in their faithless ways. Paul will persist in his efforts as he waits in hope for when all will be one in Christ. May we open our hearts and minds to God and offer our gifts to spread the word of Jesus Christ.
In Matthew’s Gospel, after feeding the crowds, Jesus goes to the mountains and prays. The disciples are in the boat during a storm. They see Jesus walking on the water toward them. They are frightened of both the power of the waves and Jesus walking on the water. Jesus manifests his divine authority. He is the source of strength and courage in the midst of life’s troubles. Peter expresses his faith in Jesus by his at-tempt to walk to Him. He falters because of doubt. Jesus seeks out to save him. He will also do the same for us. So, even if you are sometimes afraid or in doubt, reach out and know Jesus will reach back to help however he can. Have faith! But most importantly use faith and live it!