Friday 14 June 2024

Today is Friday 14 June, in the 10th week of Ordinary Time.

The choir of Westminster Cathedral sing the Sanctus from Palestrina’s Missa Brevis:
‘Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might. Heaven and earth are full of your glory’.

What is God’s glory if it is not God’s presence and God’s grace made known?

Take a moment to look for the glory of God wherever you find yourself now. Looking around you, at yourself and at anyone else nearby, or animals, or carefully made furniture or objects, can you find the glory of God where you are? Can you recognise God’s presence here?

Today’s reading is from the First Book of Kings.

1 Kings 19:11-16

He said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’ Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’ He answered, ‘I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.’ Then the Lord said to him, ‘Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king over Aram. Also you shall anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king over Israel; and you shall anoint Elisha son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah as prophet in your place.

The great prophet, Elijah, was a man of God. He had gone up the holy mountain to be closer to God in solitude. Now surely if God is going to appear it should be in a suitably dramatic way - a tornado, an earthquake, a great forest fire? But because he was a man of God, Elijah was aware of God’s presence, not in such dramatic events, but in peaceful silence. Have you ever sensed the presence of God? Have you ever felt a sense of being held, of being loved? If you have, go back to that feeling and remember it again. Live it again.

If you have never felt such a presence, ask God for a sense of that presence.

Listen again to the reading and if you can, be quiet and try and get in touch with that ‘sheer silence’ within, that ‘still small voice’.

Like Elijah, most of us need to go from time to time into that cave on the mountain of God, that place of quiet. If you can make that moment now, and that place here, what do you want to say to God?

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Friday, 14 June
10th week in Ordinary Time
00:00 -00:00