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Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Homily Transcript
Our first reading from the book of Kings with Elijah is an interesting one. So, just a little bit of context here.
Elijah is a prophet in Israel several generations after King David. So King David has come and gone. Solomon, as well his son, has built the temple. And then Solomon’s successors are really terrible kings of Israel. They pretty much destroy the kingdom. Ah, they’re unfaithful, they worship false gods. And so, God raises up Elijah and Elijah, he’s an interesting character.
Ah, so first what Elijah does is he challenges these fake priests that have come and are worshipping what are called ‘the bowels” of the various pagan lands within Israel.
So, Elijah has this duel with these ‘bowel priests’ and long story short Elijah’s victorious and- and any children at home close your ears here- he slits all their throats. Okay? After he wins this little challenge.
Well, the king of Israel doesn’t like this, so he chases Elijah and he’s trying to kill Elijah. So, Elijah goes into hiding when he has this experience of God-which is what we’re reading from this morning.
He doesn’t experience God in the crushing of the boulders or the trumpet blasts, but in a tiny whispering sound. So, it’s interesting because Elijah is having this encounter with God on Mount Horeb, which is where Moses had the encounter with God -also known as Mount Sinai.
So, Moses sees the ten commandments. And God, when he gives Moses the ten commandments is the great flashing thunder and smoke shows and trumpet blasts, whatever.
Elijah has a very different experience. Very simple. Very quiet. That’s where God is.
And by the way, where are Moses and Elijah going to appear? Alongside Christ on Mount Tabor during the transfiguration.
So, fast forward now to Jesus. Jesus has just multiplied the loaves and fishes. He’s got this huge crowd following him. They are all ready to make Jesus the new king of Israel. And what does Jesus do? He does the same thing that God does with Elijah. He disappears. He makes himself very small. He goes, runs away from the crowd, and hides in a cave, and he prays all night long. He just wants to be with God the Father. Very humble is our Lord and savior.
And then we know what happens from that night, in prayer he sees the apostles floundering on the sea and he comes down and he saves them. And then, Peter has this great change, likewise, to do something very divine -to walk on water. Jesus had done this before, walking on water right?
What does Peter need to do? He doesn’t do anything tremendous, he doesn’t need to be an iron man and put on some magical suit, all he needs to do is have a simple faith. He doubts. He sinks.
So friends, do we catch the theme this weekend? God doesn’t have to be anything glamorous our majestic. He’s very simple and for us to do something divine, we too just need to live simply and most importantly to have a simple faith like Peter eventually will have to believe in God, to pray each day, to live humbly. Do your duties at home, at work. Whatever God is calling you to do. Doesn’t have to be anything that glorious and you can be a saint.
1 Kings 19:9a, 11-13a
A special thank you to our congregation from St. Juliana Parish, Chicago.
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