Nineteenth Sunday of the Year

1 Kings 19:11-13; Rom 9:1-5; Mt 14:22-33 (Year A)

“I will hear what the Lord God has to say, a voice that speaks of peace. His help is near for those who fear him, and his glory will dwell in our land.” Prayer, for the psalmist, was an exercise in listening, a listening that reaches beyond the cacophony of daily life to an inner silence. We want to fill that silence with our distractions and anxieties, and yet it is only in our surrender to that silence that we are able to hear a voice that speaks of peace.

We, like the psalmist, long to hear what the Lord God has to say. At times our listening seems futile, and especially in times of stress. We long for the peace of God’s presence, and yet our very stillness becomes a magnet to our worst fears and anxieties.

The prophet Elijah knew about fear and anxiety. After his confrontation with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, Elijah had been forced to flee to the wilderness from the wrath of a vengeful Queen Jezebel. In the loneliness of that experience, a faith once so strong in its affirmation of the one true God, had seemed to falter.

“Lord, I have had enough. Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”

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