Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion
(1 Kings 19:9,11-13; Psalm 85:9-14; Romans 9:1-5; Matthew 14:22-23)
Hearing God’s Still Small Voice
There was a tiny whispering sound (1 Kings 19:12).
Have you noticed how noisy our world is? We celebrate holidays with ear-shattering fireworks. Young people listen to music so loud that you can’t carry on a conversation two rooms away. Television and radio evangelists shout their message at the top of their lungs. Even our cities reverberate with sounds of traffic and construction. In such a noisy environment, it’s easy to understand why we might expect God to speak to us in a huge, booming voice.
But God generally doesn’t use spectacular means to talk to us. In today’s reading, Elijah discovered that God’s voice isn’t like a strong and damaging wind or an earthquake or a raging fire. It’s a tiny, whispering voice that has the power to pierce us to the heart (1 Kings 19:11-12).
For our part, we need to listen carefully and be open to the many subtle ways that God speaks. We may hear him through a friend or coworker. Sometimes, we may think that we’re hearing only the good thoughts in our mind, but it is possible that God is behind even these thoughts, giving us guidance, assuring us of his love, and drawing us closer to him.
Nowhere does God speak more passionately than duringMass.We gather as the family of God not to be observers but to celebrate and worship together. And it’s in the very act of worship that we can hear him speak to us—in the hymns that we sing, in the Scriptures that we hear, and especially in the Eucharist that we receive.
Don’t miss God’s voice today by looking only for the spectacular. Quiet your heart and enjoy the beauty and simplicity of the liturgy. Jesus is really there! Believe that you can hear his still, small voice today as you worship him with all of your brothers and sisters in the faith.
“Jesus, I long to hear your voice. Open my heart so that I can experience your presence as I worship you in Mass. Lord, come and accept my life as I offer myself to you today.”
Questions for Reflection/Discussion
- In the first reading, Elijah “saw” the Lord in the “tiny whispering sound.” Do you believe that God can speak to you deep within, as you come to him in prayer? Why or why not?
- The Responsorial Psalm also speaks of “seeing” the Lord’s kindness and “hearing” what God proclaims. Was there ever a time when you heard from God during a time of prayer? What did you hear and how did it impact your life?
- In the second reading,St. Paulexpresses his great desire for the salvation of the Jewish people, even to the point of being willing to be “cut off from Christ for the sake of my people.” He then goes on to explain all that we Christians have inherited from the Jewish people, ending with the fact that from them came Jesus Christ himself. What steps can you take to express your thankfulness for this “inheritance” to some Jewish people you know? Are there for some Jewish men or women in your life that need your prayers? Are you willing to pray for them? If not why not?
- In the Gospel, Jesus speaks these words to his terrified disciples, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Do you believe that Jesus wants to speak these same words to you as well, no matter what your circumstances are? What are the obstacles that can keep you from hearing these words and believing them? What steps can you take to overcome these obstacles?
- The meditation speaks of the different ways God can speak to us. What are some of the ways God “speaks” to you?
- In the meditation, we also hear these words, “Nowhere does God speak more passionately than during Mass. . . Don’t miss God’s voice today by looking only for the spectacular. Quiet your heart and enjoy the beauty and simplicity of the liturgy. Jesus is really there! Believe that you can hear his still, small voice today as you worship him with all of your brothers and sisters in the faith.” What steps can you take before and during Mass to better respond to these words?
- Take some time now to pray that the Lord would open your ears and your heart to hear more clearly his words and his will for your life. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point.
(The discussion questions were created by Maurice Blumberg, the Director of Partner Relations for The Word Among Us Partners, (http://www.waupartners.org/), a Ministry of The Word Among Us(www.wau.org) to the Military, Prisoners, and women with crisis pregnancies or who have had abortions. Maurice was also the founding Executive Director of the National Fellowship of Catholic Men (http://www.nfcmusa.org/), for which he is currently a Trustee. Maurice can be contacted at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.)