“Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” This is how Jesus speaks to us on this nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Lord assures us that amid difficulties of our daily lives, He is with us to bring us peace and calm.
In the first reading, Prophet Elijah goes to encounter God on the mountain. We see Elijah as the prophet filled with the love of God. He remained on the side of God when his compatriots were in idolatry. In his anger, Elijah killed the prophets of Baal. After, his tiring work, Elijah felt depressed, he even asked God to take his life, but God refused. Instead, God invited Elijah to His encounter: He wanted to recomfort him so that he can continue his mission. The fact that God did not encounter Elijah neither in the wind, nor in the earthquake, nor in the fire but in a tiny and whispering sound showed Elijah that God is the Lord of peace and calm and that He does not use violence.
In the Gospel, Jesus also went to encounter God on the mountain. This happened after Jesus fed around five thousand people. People were impressed by the miracle and wanted to enthrone Jesus as their King. Since the disciples of Jesus also wanted Him to be a King, to be a famous person, they could have been tempted by the crowd. Therefore, Jesus made them get in a boat so that He may send back home the crowd Himself. Here, Jesus was again tempted by the love of glory. Before that temptation, He went to His heavenly Father and prayed.
In difficult times of their mission, both Prophet Elijah and Jesus went on the mountain to encounter God. It should be the same for us: we should forget for a while the cares of life to find time for personal prayer. If you are young and are concerned because you do not know what to do with your life, or are a married couple and are having troubles finding solutions to the conflicts that divide you, you should take a time of prayer. Whatever problems we have, God has a solution for it. Therefore, we should take the resolution of finding time for personal encounter with God. Coming to Sunday Mass or community prayers is not enough!
May the blessed Mother of God intercede for us.
In those few lines, I hope to have shared with you what I heard from the homily from the 6:30 AM Eucharistic celebration of August 9, 2020.
It was celebrated by Father Jean Marie Bisimwa, Isch.