Fr. Kurian KollapallilProphet Elijah experienced the mighty power of God, when he confronted the prophets of Baal in a test of their god against his. The God in whom he trusted send fire from heaven and consumed the sacrifice he prepared on Mount Carmel. The prophets of Baal were put to death. As he confronted the priests and their false religious practices, he was under threat and fled to a cave on Horeb, where Moses crouched when God appeared (Exodus 33:22). God knew what the depressed and discouraged Elijah needed. God calls him out of the cave and Elijah expected to meet God’s appearance in His mighty power. God brought His presence before Elijah, but first to show where He was not. Like many others, Elijah probably thought God would manifest dramatically in the mighty powers of nature. The Lord was not in the hurricane, neither in the lightening nor in the earth quake, instead does God appear in silence with a gentle whispering voice. Like many others, Elijah might have looked for and expected God in dramatic manifestations. Certainly, God sometimes appears in such ways but He often appears in less dramatic surroundings. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord” (Zechariah 4:6). In quietness and in silence we encounter God like Elijah.

How excited Peter and other disciple would have been to experience their master with five loaves and two fish feeding five thousand people? The disciples distributed the meals and they collected the left overs. They would have been impressed by Jesus’ action and stimulated to make him as their king as we read in John 6. So Jesus sent the disciples ahead of him in a boat and went to a quite place to pray. The disciples in the lake experienced turbulent weather and storm tossed their boat. Then, all of a sudden, they see Jesus approaching them walking on the lake. Far from feeling reassured, they become even more terrified and they said: “It is a ghost!” Jesus called out to them and said, “Courage! It’s me don’t be afraid.” Peter wanted to share the supernatural power of Jesus by walking over the waters. As Jesus bid him to come, Peter began to walk over the water looking at Jesus but as soon as he realized that the wind was rambunctious he began to sink. Peter knew whom to call out so he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me.” Jesus put out his hand and held peter’s hand. Jesus was there to save him.

Along with the thrills of life we also experience fears, worries, accidents, death and sorrow. Our life’s experiences remind us over and over again that ultimately we are completely dependent upon God for our life, our hope and for our salvation. In our faith journey we may expect God to perform mighty deeds and to manifest Himself in dramatic ways but we may not meet Him as we expect. As long as we look to Jesus and walk we will be safe, but if we are worried and perplexed we may sink in the midst of them. Yet if we know whom to call out, He will hold on to our hand and lead us to safety.

“Solitude has its temptations, and the world has its trials; but through all we must have good courage, because help from Heaven is ever nearest to those who put their whole trust in God.” St. Francis de Sales