Homily of the Day

Friday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

The prophet Elijah was struggling to promote the worship of Yahweh, doing all he could to wean the people away from the false idol, Baal. Queen Jezebel, a devotee of Baal and a woman who got what she wanted, vowed to kill him. Elijah fled, terrified. So exhausted was he by his fear that he asked God to take his life. God instead prodded him to eat and drink food that God himself provided, and then directed him to hike forty days to Mt. Horeb. There Elijah hid in a cave.

Yahweh told Elijah that he would come to him and allow him to feel his presence. Elijah was a master showman. Remember how he stage-managed the confrontation between Yahweh and Baal. Apparently he had the idea that God would manifest himself only in a spectacular way -a storm perhaps, a massive fire, or an earthquake.

But in none of nature’s cataclysmic disturbances did God manifest himself to Elijah. Then Elijah heard a tiny whispering sound, a gentle breeze stirring the trees. He immediately went to the entrance of the cave, hid his head in his cloak, and was aware that he was in God’s presence. His depression dissolved.

Why does God not manifest himself in spectacular circumstances? The answer isn’t all that important. What is important is to realize that God’s presence is always available to us. All we need do is to wrap ourselves in quiet and in the quiet we will find God.