God had sent Elijah as prophet to Israel.
But Elijah runs away in fear and
hiding in the desert,
not standing before the people as God’s
praying to die.
So God feeds Elijah and tells him to go to the
and stand there in front of God.
Elijah goes to the side of
the mountain… and hides in a cave.
That’s where we find him in today’s first
Elijah is neither in the place God tells him to be,
nor does he
take the stance of prophet God tells him to take.
But God stays with Elijah,
speaking to him
not in the wind, or the earthquake,
or the fire, but in “a
Scholars say that the Hebrew text defies translation,
Elijah’s experience has also been described as
“a sound of sheer silence;” “a
faint murmuring sound;”
“a still small silence;” and “a tiny whispering
So God asks gently in that
What are you doing here, Elijah?
Why are you here instead
of where I sent you?
And then God sends Elijah once again
to fulfill the
duties of prophet.
Elijah takes courage
because he knows he is not
God is with him;
all will be
Today’s Gospel brings us a
It’s the story of the storm on the lake.
Jesus, after the
feeding of the five thousand,
has gone off alone to pray.
Very often in
scripture we see this pattern,
with Jesus going off to pray by himself in
Just like us, Jesus needs both kinds of prayer—
prayer with the people,
and the periods of silent personal prayer in contact
And the disciples in the
boat, like Elijah in the desert,
found themselves in danger,
of the storm
and then of the ghostly appearance of Jesus so near the
The incident ends with Jesus’ comforting words:
Don’t be afraid; I’m
here with you.
Their circumstances did not change, nor did those of
The disciples were still at sea during a storm,
and Elijah was
still being threatened by Jezebel.
But both the prophet and the disciples
were able to go on
because the divine presence
gave them the courage to do
We’ve all been there.
storms of life hit us hard—
the death of a loved one, loss of a
diagnosis of serious health problems.
When we focus on the storm, we
When we center ourselves in prayer,
we find strength to get through
even to reach out to calm the fears of the others
in the boat with
What are we doing
There’s a storm on our lake, too.
Last week it was toxic algae
People gathered and prayed.
They helped one another.
Every day we hear more warnings
that last week’s water crisis
will happen again.
Climate change threatens not only the water we
But also the food we eat,
the air we breathe.
Scientists tell us
that the storms are going to get worse
unless we do something
I was both pleased and
when I heard the media calling us
to recycle all those water
bottles last Tuesday.
I was pleased to think that people
would not be
adding them to landfills
or throwing them in the streets or in the
But I was dismayed that they were not filling them with tap
and keeping them handy for the next crisis.
It’s a simple
and it’s not so costly
that it couldn’t be done by almost
My stash of emergency water fits easily in my basement.
there’s no crisis, I rotate the bottles
by using one or two to water my
or fill my steam iron, then refill them from the tap.
don’t have to stand in line for water,
or travel long distances,
I have enough to share with my neighbors.
The only folks
who couldn’t do the same are the homeless,
who have no place to keep
and people who are so poor
that they can’t afford running
There are other things we can do—
stop over-fertilizing our
organize our errands to use less gas,
turn off lights and
appliances when we aren’t using
We can pay attention to the tiny
that are telling us to look for waste and extravagance
and do what we can to make sure that everyone has enough
we use more than our fair share.
psalm today sings out:
Blessed be God who is over all!
And it is God’s
presence, God’s spirit,
that fills us with the courage to take
Though we may stumble and
falter along the way,
we will all get through, listening to that sound in the
the still small voice that whispers,
Do not be afraid. I am with
Holy Spirit Catholic Community
at 3535 Executive Parkway
(Unity of Toledo)
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m.
Sundays at 5:30
Rev. Dr. Bev Bingle,