AUGUST 9th – 19TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

“THE LORD WILL BE PASSING BY”          

by Fr. Walt Wainwright

Have you ever sensed the presence of the Lord as you go about your daily life?  I’m sure you have, as I too have sensed His presence.  In today’s first reading from the First Book of Kings we read of a very interesting meeting between Elijah and the Lord.  The Lord told Elijah to go out from the cave and stand on the mountain, and the Lord told him that the Lord would be passing by.  So Elijah did as the Lord told him to do.

Elijah waited for the Lord to pass by.  Yet he did not experience the Lord passing by.  First in the wind, then in the fire, then even in an earthquake.  Certainly the presence of the Lord would be experienced in one of these extraordinary events.  But, nothing!  It was only in a quiet whispering wind that Elijah then experienced the presence of the Lord and that experience was so profound once he understood what it meant that he then buried his face in his cloak.

An unusual experience to be sure.  And what of you and me?  Maybe each one of us experiences the presence of the Lord in all sorts of different ways.  It might be a sense of calm after a storm.  It might be the beauty after a snowstorm when we look out of the window and see the beauty of snow covering the ground, painting the limbs of trees and adding to the beauty of mountaintops.

One of the ways I sense the presence of the Lord is the quiet calm that comes after a time of upset or doubt.  I sense the presence of the Lord letting me know that he has been with me throughout every experience of life, it’s just that sometimes we are just too caught up in the craziness of life that we miss Him.

In today’s gospel we read of the disciples crossing the waters and a great storm causes them to be frightened.  During this storm while they are more concerned about surviving such an ordeal that one of them, Peter, looks and sees the Lord walking towards them on the water and not just on the water but during a terrible storm.  And he doesn’t see to be at all disturbed by the storm.

Peter, as he often did became so excited that he dared the Lord and said to Him, “Lord if it is really You, tell me to come to You walking on the water.”  Jesus’ response was a very calm, “Come.”  So Peter got out of the boat and began walking toward Jesus.  Then, suddenly he realized he was sinking and called out to Jesus, “Lord, save me.”  And, of course, Jesus saved Peter.

Peter had recognized the presence of the Lord waling on the water and believed that Jesus could save him.  The problem was that he was too distracted by the rain and the waves.  Once he put those things aside he did what all of us should do at time like that.  Put those distractions aside and think only of the Lord.  It’s amazing what wonders can be wrought when we just think about the Lord.  How many wonderful experiences does the gospel give us of all that Jesus can do and has done for so many.  He can also do such wonders for us as well.

Fr. Walt