Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The faith, the calm and the peace

… A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains  … but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake … After the earthquake there was fire … After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak … 1Kgs 19,9.11-13a

Then he made the disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone. Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. “It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear. At once (Jesus) spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” …After they [Jesus and Peter] got into the boat, the wind died down. Mt 14,22-33

In the first reading Elijah does not meet the Lord in the strong wind and even in the earthquake, but in a tiny whispering sound: he meets him in the calm and in the peace. In the passage of the today gospel the apostles are alone in the boat, they are captured by the fear, amid the waves raised up by a strong wind. Then, when the Lord goes up on the boat, the wind calms down, the sea becomes quite and the apostles find the calm and the peace. Combining these two episodes, the liturgy of today announces that the Lord meets in the calm and in the peace and once we meet him he gives the calmness and the peace. It would seem, then, that the Lord had the power only to generate what it is already there and then that he was, after all, unnecessary and redundant. An earlier meditation on the faith comes to the mind, in reference to the words of Jesus: “To the one who has, more will be given; from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away” (Mk 4,25). Even the faith, as the calm and the peace, seems to be given to those who already have it.These three gifts, so important to our lives because connected to the same spiritual dynamic, must be in some manner connected among themselves. And, in fact, they all are along this way: faith, peace and quietness are the starting point and the destination of the spiritual path. But what is the source of these gifts which Jesus has in abundance and we do not always have? The answer is: the prayer. Jesus walks on the waters, in calm and in peace, because first climbed the mountain to pray. We, too, when we are concerned about the health, the workor any other difficulty, if we will go up to the mountain to pray, we will find faith, calm and peace to solve our problems, on which we will end up to walk on, like Jesus walking on the waters today.

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