‘Courage! It is I! Do not be afraid.’
In the readings this week, Elijah and Jesus both seek out quiet places to pray alone. They reveal an ever-present God who reaches out to us and brings peace, especially amidst the storms of our own lives.
The First Reading sees a dejected Elijah finding a place of solitude. There he recognizes and responds to God’s still, small voice in the gentle breeze, rather than in the more dramatic events of wind, earthquake and fire.
The Psalmist asks for the Lord’s saving help as well as listening to his voice – one that speaks of justice and peace, mercy and faithfulness.
In the Second Reading, St Paul shows his love for his fellow Jews, agonizing because most of them reject Christ. Paul is ready to be cut off entirely from Christ himself, if that would help his Jewish kinsfolk recognise Christ as their Lord.
The storm in Elijah’s life is echoed by the storm in the Gospel. We see the disciples overcome their fears and doubts as they eventually recognize Jesus. Seeing the power of his presence, they proclaim their belief in who he is: ‘Truly, you are the Son of God’.
The events of recent months may have made us more aware of God’s presence in times of chaos. As we continue to move through these uncertain times, we pray for the grace always to be aware of God’s presence in our lives, and confident in the peace he offers us.