Where are you God?

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

1 Kings 19:9A, 11-13A

At the mountain of God, Horeb, Elijah came to a cave where he took shelter. Then the LORD said to him, "Go outside and stand on the mountain before the LORD; the LORD will be passing by." A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the LORD— but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake— but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was fire— but the LORD was not in the fire. 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.

Romans 9:1-5

Brothers and sisters: I speak the truth in Christ, I do not lie; my conscience joins with the Holy Spirit in bearing me witness that I have great sorrow and constant anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my own people, my kindred according to the flesh. They are Israelites; theirs the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; theirs the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.

Matthew 14:22-33

After he had fed the people, Jesus made the disciples get into a boat and precede him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone. Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. "It is a ghost," they said, and they cried out in fear. At once Jesus spoke to them, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid." Peter said to him in reply, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." He said, "Come." Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught Peter, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" After they got into the boat, the wind died down. Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying, "Truly, you are the Son of God."

On the night after Jesus feeds the crowd with the fives loaves and two fish when the faith of Jesus’ disciples should have been strengthened, their faith towards Jesus is not steadfast. When Peter sees Jesus walking toward them on the sea, with His reassurance that “It is I; do not be afraid”, Peter still answers, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water” (Mt 14:27-28). Then Peter indeed gets out of the boat, starts walking on the water, and comes toward Jesus. But as soon as he notices the strong wind, he loses faith, becomes frightened and begins to sink. As he begins to sink, he cries out, “Lord, save me!” (Mt 14:30).

The disciples said, “Truly you are the son of God” after witnessing the miracles of Jesus walking on the sea and calming the storm (Mt 14:33). It is easy for us to say the same if our prayers are answered and the favours we ask for are granted. But what if we do not hear anything?

Reflecting on our own circumstances, are we like Peter when we encounter a storm in our life that puts us at risks and threatens to overturn the serenity of the little universe around us? When our own life or the life of someone we love is at stake, when we cry out, “Lord, save me!” and hear no answer, will we ask, “Where are you God? Have you forsaken me?” When our faith staggers, let us remember to turn to the first reading for encouragement, the prophet Elijah hears the Lord not in the wind, in the earthquake, nor in the fire, but in the sound of sheer silence thereafter. We must surrender our whole being to God, submit ourselves to His Holy will and His plan for us in order to hear God speaking to us in the silence.

Posted: August 13, 2017

Shiu Lan

Shiu Lan is your Catholic neighbour with a simple faith and likes praying the Rosary. With a B.Sc from the University of Hong Kong, she worked in Information Technology and Project Management before working with joy at home.

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