As followers of the Lord a constant activity in our lives can be summed up in one word – seek. Today’s readings bring this out with clarity.
Seek the Lord
It is paramount, indeed vital that as disciples we constantly seek the Lord. The first reading from 1st Kings gives us a great lesson by showing us how the prophet Elijah sought the Lord. Elijah, who has known the power of God in his life still seeks Him. God gives His prophet a lesson in where to find Him. Though the Lord can and does work any way He wants, He desires us to find him in a tiny whispering sound. He desires us to come to Him in the most intimate moments where our whole attention is focused on our dialog with Him. He desires our total attention, our total intensity so that we can feel in our hearts what He is telling us.
Seek a time and place
But to be able to come to this intimate and intense encounter, to hear the whispering sound, we need to withdraw ourselves from the chaos of our lives. We need to find a mountain of solitude as Jesus does so many times in scripture including the Gospel today. We need to give ourselves time to hear God whisper; to follow Christ’s teaching when in Matthew tells us ‘But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret.’
The noise of our daily life, both external and internal, makes it almost impossible to listen to God. If we look back in our lives to those special encounters; those most intimate, intense and relished encounters with family and friends; we will find most of them being one on one, private, where the world seemed to be missing, pushed to the fringes of our awareness – the only thing that was real was the other person. So too with our relationship with Christ – He desires nothing less and He gives us nothing less.
Seek those who the Lord seeks.
However, Christ always comes down from the mountain. What is important for us and our relationship with Christ is also important for others as well. It is also important for us in our ability to bring others to Christ. For bringing others to Christ is what we are to do, it should be who we are. And what works for God, works for us. Indeed, it is the only thing that will work. To be convincing to others that our message is real we come to them like a whisper as well. We don’t brandish our faith like fire or earthquakes in big and showy demonstrations for this will only amuse or annoy and will disappear with time. No, by the quiet actions of our lives we give power to our message. By this whisper of faith, our living our beliefs, we bring Christ to those who need Him.
Last night I turned on EWTN and happened on the marvelous movie of the life of St. Dominic made by the Dominican Province of the Philippines in 2011. Titled ‘Dominic: Light of the Church’ it was moving lesson for each of us on how we should seek those God seeks. It showed the power of Bishop Diego d’Azevado’s and St. Dominic’s method of humility and quiet proclamation of the faith by living their faith among those they were evangelizing. Truth was preached and faith was lived. This is our methodology to introduce those around to us our most intimate friend.
As the movie showed and as we well know this apostolic calling is not easy, it is filled with dangers of all kinds: ridicule, ostracization, and maybe even physical. But in addition it is fraught with our weakness and we are bound to falter, to fail at times. We will fall. But in our hearts we should know that Christ will always be there, that God is constantly whispering to us. And like He did to St. Peter in today’s Gospel He will always be there to immediately stretch out His hand and catch us.
St. Dominic Pray for us.