- The Abbey of the Genesee - https://www.geneseeabbey.org -

June 15, 2018

Fr. John Denburger, OCSO

10th Friday in Ordinary Time
1 Kings 19: 9a, 11 – 16; Ps 27; Matthew 5: 27 – 32

A fearful Elijah taking flight from a wrathful Jezebel, comes to the mountain of God, Horeb, and finds safe refuge in a cave. And there the prophet is led by God Himself to have an experience of the Lord’s presence.

He finds that the Lord’s presence is not in a violent wind nor in an earthquake, rather there comes a tiny whispering sound and at this tiny whispering sound Elijah hides his face in his cloak and stands in attentive readiness at the entrance of the cave. Perhaps, he was praying “Speak, Lord, Your servant is listening.

Not in the tumult of a violent wind nor in the devastation of an earthquake but in a sound that one could easily miss, Elijah recognizes and acknowledges the presence of God – clearly he was a man most sensitive to God’s presence, a sensitivity could only come from the grace of familiarity.

There is a lesson in this that touches upon our own prayer life; prayer is always God’s gracious invitation to be present to Him who is always present to us. This invitation can be like the tiny whispering sound of Elijah – a sound, a movement within us. To hear it, to acknowledge it, to respond to it in prayer demands a sensitivity to and for God’s presence. Without this feel, this sensitivity we miss a sacred invitation and it passes us by for now.

In all this, there is a call to each of us to know our God who desires with passion and affection our presence to Him, our attentive readiness to Him. We can pray that the prophet share with us that precious gift of sensitivity to the Lord’s presence – no matter how tiny the sound, no matter how low the whisper.

In and through such an encounter, we can become like Elijah men and women who “are most zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts.”