Homily for August 9, 2020
God speaks to us all the time. But we can be so busy, so distracted, and so overwhelmed, that we can’t even think straight. We know that computers can have a system overload. People are overloaded all the time. How do we hear God when we are preoccupied or anxious?
Jesus often says, If you have eyes to see… If you have ears to hear… If you are not receiving God’s message, then where have your eyes and ears been focused?
Today’s scriptures remind us how timely, reassuring and meaningful the Word of God is. The readings are about fear and faith, cowardice and storms, and a God who is always with us.
Elijah is told to go outside and stand on the mountain — God is passing by. But there happens to be a strong storm with heavy winds passing by; and an earthquake; and a tremendous fire. Danger is all around.
Nonetheless, Elijah embraces this opportunity. He’s looking and listening for God. But God is not in the wind or the earthquake or the fire. Then, we are told, there was “a tiny whispering sound.” Elijah feels the presence of God.
It’s easy to fall apart in the storms of life, anxiously worrying, “Where is God now?” Elijah’s experience of God in a tiny whisper should remind us how very close God really is.
The gospel story finds the disciples in their small boat being tossed about by the storm at sea. Elijah remained focused when the great storms surrounded him. The disciples of Jesus however are crumbling with panic.
Jesus comes to them and says the most cited biblical one liner, “Do not be afraid.” And then he says to Peter, “Come.” We have to give Peter credit. He may have only taken a few steps on the water before he started to sink, but he took a few steps!
When the storms come, so many people want to hide. They lock themselves away in their safe deposit box. Sadly, it isn’t the storm that does them in, but their own fear.
As we move forward during the COVID-19 pandemic, we must be cautious and practice all safety protocols. Still, the tragedy continues for all who are victims of this terrible virus. How sad to realize there are also victims whose suffering is caused the pandemic of fear.
Do not be afraid. Last Sunday, we heard from Saint Paul the most confident statement about where God stands in the midst of this pandemic, or any obstacle, “Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord!”
Where do we stand? Are we hiding away? Are we living in fear, doing just enough to get by? Or, are we living as people of faith? We may not be able to literally reach out and hold on to one another, but we can find new ways of connecting with one another, of building bridges of hope with others, of showing the world what it means to truly Love one another.
If you have eyes to see…. See the Beauty of Life and Love that God is creating each and every day. If you have ears to hear… Hear the Word of God and the stories of faith… share your story of faith with others. Be on the “front lines of faith” at a time when we need your love, your faith, your beauty… so very much.
Rev. Gregory M. Corrigan
3000 Videre Drive
Wilmington, DE 19808