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Sunday, August 13, 2017

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19th Sunday Ordinary Time


1 Kings 19:9, 11-13
Romans 9:1-5
Psalm 85:9-14
Matthew 14:22-33

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fighting to hear

"After the earthquake there was fire — but the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went and stood at the entrance of the cave." —1 Kings 19:12-13

Possibly the greatest thing Elijah ever did was to hear God whisper. God whispered for Elijah to anoint Elisha. This led to two other anointings through which the perverted and oppressive kingdom of Ahab and Jezebel was destroyed (see 1 Kgs 19:15-17).

Because hearing God's whisper is so important, Satan tried to prevent Elijah from hearing God. Elijah had to fight through despair (1 Kgs 19:4). Then he walked forty days and forty nights (1 Kgs 19:8). He climbed Mt. Horeb to endure a violent, rock-crushing wind, an earthquake, and fire (1 Kgs 19:11-12). Then he heard God whisper. The devil sometimes makes it very hard for us to hear God. However, God will always get through to us if we want to hear Him and persevere in trying to hear Him.

Daniel also wanted to hear God. He mourned, fasted, and did not wash for three weeks (Dn 10:2-3). Finally, an angel, probably the Archangel Gabriel, delivered God's message to Daniel. The angel had been held up for twenty-one days by a demon, called "the prince of the kingdom of Persia," until St. Michael, the greatest angel, helped the other angel (Dn 10:13). We must fight to hear God. Nonetheless, we will always hear Him if we are willing and persevering (see Jn 8:47). Hear God!

Prayer:  Father, deepen my faith as I hear Your Word (Rm 10:17).

Promise:  "So Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water, moving toward Jesus. But when he perceived how strong the wind was, becoming frightened, he began to sink and cried out, 'Lord, save me!' " —Mt 14:29-30

Praise:  Praise Jesus, risen Lord and God, "Who inspires and perfects our faith"! (Heb 12:2)

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet, Hearing God, or on audio AV 45-1 or video V-45.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 27, 2017

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