by Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace
When we listen to the Scripture lessons at a Eucharist like this, sometimes as a result of our reflection on those Scriptures, we’re urged to move into our worldly life with some action, try to change something in the world that is not in accord with the reign of God. But today, it’s more that God is calling us not to go out and do some action, but to become more meditative, more reflective — even, we could say, contemplative.
And that’s in the first lesson today, when you find the prophet Elijah fleeing for his life because he has spoken out against the ruler of Israel, and his life is in real danger. He begins a long journey, and a couple of times along the way, he begins to faint and fall by the wayside, but God assists him, and he goes on. Finally, he gets to the Mount of Hora, which is Sinai, where God entered into covenant with God’s people, and there, he finds a cave.
If you were listening, it’s quite amazing how God comes into his presence — how he experiences God — because there’s first the experience of an earthquake, a tremendous disruption of the earth. Then there’s a terrible wind blowing everything away in its path, and then fire. All of these have been signs in the past of the presence of God…