19th Sunday in Ordinary Time (August 13, 2017)

Today’s Scriptures remind us that God’s presence can be found in a tiny, whispering sound and in the winds and waves that toss the disciples boat on the sea. We are always in God’s presence; he is always speaking to us.

We heard Elijah recognize God’s presence in the tiny, whispering sound. Then he hid his face in his cloak and stood at the entrance of the cave that sheltered him as the Lord passed by.

In a very different circumstance, Jesus walks on the turbulent water and approaches his disciples’ boat. The disciples are afraid until Jesus speaks to them: “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Then the ever-bold Peter wants Jesus to enable him to walk on the water. Jesus says, “Come.” When the strong wind distracts Peter, he begins to sink and calls to Jesus for help. Jesus takes Peter by the hand and chides him: “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

While these two stories differ, they both speak of faith and trust in God’s loving presence. I’m sure each of us has had moments when the Lord has spoken to us in a “tiny, whispering sound.” And there certainly have been times when he has spoken in the turbulence of our life. God is always saying: “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid. Come, take my hand and walk with me.”

Then we have the choice. We can “come,” trusting in God’s loving presence and care for us. Or we can become distracted by the turbulence and confusion around us and may be within us, and lose sight of the Lord who is caring for us.

It would seem to be wise if we learned ways to hear Jesus’ words more often each day: “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” He is our sure hope!