Commentary on the Gospel of

Fr. Roland Onuekwusi Chidiebere, CMF

*Perseverance in faith-expression 
*Discerning patiently
*Pondering the Word, instead.

Prophet Elijah gives us a lovely example of perseverance in faith-expression. His country men are busy profaning the places of worship ‘torn down the Lord’s altars’; ‘killing the prophets!’ Elijah stood his ground in faithfulness to God. He awaited the Lord’s intervention which eventual arrived! One thing is certain, God would always respond to those who call upon Him in faith, though He may delay by our own timing, but certainly He would attend to His own and in His own way! This calls for humility and patience.

Humility in terms of accepting one’s dependency on God, and saying let his will be done, especially at very challenging moments. And in that disposition, patiently discern his presence and not impose one’s own will. God moves in a mysterious way! Behold the trend of this course: on top of Mount Horeb, storms that trail human experiences begin to pass-by! First it was the heavy wind; then, earthquake; and even more challenge in the form of fire. And the powerful message is that our God does not delight in violence. Even when He cleanses, purges or purifies us, He does so lovingly. Hence, he manifests His presence in the tiny whispering sound! As our Lord tells us, only his own sheep recognize the voice of the Shepherd. The same takes place here. We need to be in the spirit of Jesus Himself in order to recognize and flow along with His spiritual prompts. This is what prayer disposes us to do.

Cultivating the presence of Jesus’ spirit entails the discipline of choosing to surround ourselves with objects that enhance positive thinking. We are discouraged from surrounding ourselves with images and actions that prompt sinful mindsets, especially adulterous thoughts as He condemns in the Gospel reading – busying one’s mind with lustful look! One thing is obvious, the more we busy our minds with the Gospel values, like love and mercy, the more we remain conscious of God’s presence and activities in our lives.

Our Mother Mary, who kept pondering the Word of God in her heart is a living model of this virtuous attitude. We beg her to intercede for us as we forge ahead in our faith-expression like prophet Elijah, that we may run the race to the end, amen.


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