Grace to you!
Those who knew Saint [Mother] Teresa Calcutta say her presence had a unique aura of peace and calm. She seemed to know how to make the worse situations look ordinary, and turbulent times seem like a blessing.
This testimony isn't simply related to Saint Teresa of Calcutta. It appears to be a shared experience among many believers who have a deep faith and constant disposition to the holiness of life. One with the Lord is at peace. You may have noticed that when you are in the state of grace, your confidence level increases and the peace you feel within is unequaled.
Elijah, regarded by many as the greatest prophet of the Old Testament, witnessed numerous turbulences during his fights against false prophets and Baal's worship. King Ahab and Jezebel, his wife, denounced him and looked for ways to eliminate him. He experienced intense anxiety and depression from being left alone, abandoned.
As he ran for his dear life, maybe in search of peace and hope, he encountered God on Horeb's hills. His encounter with God in the gentle breeze—a famous story in Scripture—is recorded in the First Book of Kings, chapter 19:9-14.
Of all the commentaries I have read concerning that story, the one that touches me with new meaning today is from the second-century systematic theologian, Saint Irenaeus. He writes that Elijah “learned to work with greater calm, and thus also the coming of the Lord in human form is signified. In the light of the Law given to Moses, his coming will be seen as an untroubled time when the bent reed will not be crushed, nor the flickering flame quenched. The sweet rest and peace of his reign is foreshadowed here as well. After the wind that moves mountains, after earthquake and fire, the calm and peaceful age of his reign will come, in which the Spirit of God will revitalize and gently encourage the growth of man" (Adversus haereses, 4, 20, 10).
The Lord Jesus, the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets, is peace and calm for the human society. The Lord is also our peace as individuals. His reign in hearts is peace of soul, the kind the world cannot give.
Wherever the Lord is, there is peace. In this sense, we appreciate why a believer in the Lord Jesus shouldn't be anxious about anything whatsoever. Anxiety rips us of peace of soul, the Lord's precious gift to us. Storms come and pass. The Lord remains forever.
Notice what the Lord's presence brought to the fearful disciples who were tossed here and there by the storms. The Gospel of Matthew 14:22-33 records the event. It's the famous story of Jesus' walking on water. The Lord walked on water, symbolizing his dominion over the forces of nature and his triumph over life's turbulences. Believers are called to share in this victory also. He equally calmed the storm. It shows that the Lord calms the storm of life; and anyone rooted in Christ receives this sort of calm in turbulent times.
As a believer, if you knew the Lord in whom you believe, you wouldn't be anxious about anything. Remember his reassuring words: "Do not worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will take care of itself" (Mt 6:34).
In another place, he told the timid disciples that he leaves with them peace, the kind the world cannot give because it doesn't have it (Jn 14:27).
What is the storm in your life? Broken relationships, family conflicts, lack of job or opportunities, poverty causing you to doubt God's providence, untimely deaths, being rejected, spiritual darkness experiences, sickness and hopelessness, fear of a nuke or cyber attack, etc. How about you keep an eye on Jesus who reassures you as he encouraged the disciples: "Take heart, it is I; have no fear" (Mt 14:27).
I feel a similar reassuring word whenever I receive the Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament, the Eucharist. Carrying him within me, I hear him speak to my soul: "It is I, your peace and your joy. Be not afraid." The Lord is the source of calm amidst storms.
I am praying that God will reassure you of His presence when you are passing through a stormy time in your life or that of your loved ones. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[19th Sunday A: I kgs 19:9A, 11-13A; Rm 9:1-5; Mt 14:22-23]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.