HOMILY FOR THE 19TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR A
1KGS 19:9a, 11-13a
ROM 9: 1-5
WHERE IS OUR GOD
Dearly Beloved, we are invited to reflect on the question of where is our God when we are troubled, disappointed or in sorrow. But beneath this question lies our own false preconceived idea that being a Christian should gain us immunity from hardships and struggles . The experience of Elijah and Peter however teaches a different lesson about disappointments in the life of the Christian.
Beloved this is captured for us by late Captain J. H. Menson: ' we know there must be a purpose for all thy deeds so mysterious, teach us thy ways lest ask we must, where is our God in whom we trust'. And it is precisely in these moments that we are to plead with God to comfort us His people. But sadly for some of us it is in difficulties that we take our eyes off Jesus. We are not to run away from God and give in to despair in the midst of life's troubles and confusion. All we need is to cry out to God in prayer in response to Jesus' invitation to 'come'(mtt 14:29).
Beloved, for the Christian prayer then is not a 'spare tyre' that you pull out when in trouble, but the 'steering wheel' that directs us in the right path through life. Unfortunately, most Christians pray without meaning the words we use in our prayer, for it has become a routine. But for St. Edmund , it is better to say one Our Father fervently and devoutly than a thousand with no devotion and full of distraction. Peter therefore gives us the model for Christian prayer in the face of disappointments ; recognise Jesus as Lord and Saviour and cry out to him. We need to discern the presence of God in our troubles and pain.
Beloved, it is with this in mind that Jesus' walking on the sea is a didactic action that teaches us that He was in control of the evil that threatens his disciples and us, just as the Father is ( Job 9:8, Hb 3:15). Today, we are reminded that the Christian is on a journey to the Father and he is warned about the dangers that await him but he is encouraged not to lose faith but to always cry out when he encounters challenges.