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Where is God?

by Jun 14, 2024Friar Reflection

Where do we look to find God?  Sometimes we expect to find God only in the spectacular and stupendous such as the parting of the Red Sea or Jesus walking on the waters during a violent storm.  In today’s first reading Elijah needs to learn he can find God not just in the spectacular but also in the quiet stillness.

Elijah the prophet travels to Mt. Horeb, also known as Mt. Sinai.  God had appeared previously to Moses and the Israelites on this same mountain in a great storm of thunder and lightning.  But for Elijah God does not appear in the “strong and heavy winds…rending the mountain.”  God also does not appear in “the earthquake” or in the “fire.”  All these images were traditionally associated with an epiphany, the appearance of God.  But each time we are told: “But the Lord was not in…” any of these.  Finally, there was a “tiny whispering sound.”  Elijah “hid his face in his cloak” because he knew that God was present before him.

Elijah’s experience is an experience that most of us have had.  We can learn from this experience of Elijah.  We look for God in the spectacular and God is right beside us in a quiet time of our daily life.  The Eucharistic Prayer at mass calls us to recognize God’s daily presence in our daily life:

“You are indeed Holy and to be glorified, O God, who love the human race and who always walk with us on the journey of life.  Blessed indeed is your Son, present in our midst when we are gathered by his love, and when, as once for the disciples, so now for us, he opens the Scriptures and breaks the bread.”  (Eucharistic Prayer for Various Needs, IV)

God tells us in this prayer that he walks with us each day of our life.  God’s Son Jesus is also with us, especially at the Eucharist.  This prayer teaches that Jesus is the one who invites us to the Eucharist as we are “gathered by his love” into the presence of God.

Take a short moment of quiet today and listen.  What is God saying to you?

Image: “Quiet Lake Dock” by `James Wheeler is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.