AD SENSE

10th Week, Friday, Jun 12

1 Kings 19:9, 11-16 / Matthew 5:27-32 
There was a soft whisper: Elijah covered his face when he heard it. 

John Buchan, Canada’s former governor-general, was on a camping trip. While another member of the camping party prepared breakfast over an open fire, John went for a swim. When he came out of the water, he lay in the morning sun to dry off. The sounds of the flowing water and the birds touched him deeply. He forgot about breakfast and was caught up in a kind of ecstasy. He wrote later that the experience “transcended human expression, even human thought. It was like a glimpse into eternity.”
Like Elijah, Buchan found God’s presence not in violent storms or earthquakes, but in the simple phenomena of nature: morning sun, flowing water, and singing birds.
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Where do we find God’s presence in our day? “Entering the forest he moves not the grass; entering the water he makes not a ripple.” Zenrin
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Whenever there is danger or a threat or some kind of hostility, there are usually two options at hand - either we fight or we take flight. In other words, either we stand our ground and face up to what is going to come at us, or we turn around and run and maybe fight another day. As for the prophet Elijah in the 1st reading, when he reached Horeb, the mountain of God, he went into the cave and spent the night in it. But actually, it was more like hiding in the cave because he was running away from his enemies who were after him for his life.
Hiding in a cave in the mountain of God was certainly the safest place, but God wouldn't want us to keep running and hiding forever. Because in the end, God sent him back to what he was running from and God even had a mission for him to continue his prophetic role of anointing kings. So it was from taking flight to taking up the fight again and facing the danger of his enemies.

In the gospel, as Jesus teaches about cutting off whatever that causes us to sin, it could also mean that we can't run away from our temptations. We have to face and fight our temptations and it might mean losing an eye or a hand (in the figurative sense) But the Lord will give us the strength to fight and make the devil fly away. Still let us not be too proud or confident.

Even if we win the fight, let us remember to go back into that cave of God's mountain. We need to hide and rest in God before we can go on fighting again.
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Friday June 12

Friday of 10th Week of Ordinary Time

GOD RESTORES US

Introduction
The experience of Elijah in God’s word today is a deeply moving human experience, wherein God shows himself as the Lord of life and resurrection as soon as a person discovers who he is when confronted with God whom he begins to understand a bit. Elijah, God’s loyal, formidable, fiery prophet, encounters defeat, despair and persecution the day after his victory.
He doubts himself, his future, his task, the people, and withdraws into the desert of himself. And then Elijah experiences God, not the formidable God of storm, earthquake and fire, which he pictured in his heart, but the God found in the gentle breeze caressing his face. This experience of the living God raises Elijah back to his feet and gives him the strength to return to people and to hope again in people and in the future. For now, he takes God on God’s terms. Could this not be our own experience?

Opening Prayer
Lord our God,
we fear to take ourselves as we are,
with our weaknesses and our strength,
with our cowardice, failures, and projections.
God, touch us, seize us,
throw us down to earth if necessary,
that we may discover you as the source of life and strength
and constant resurrection
by the power of Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives with you and with us for ever.

Commentary
At the time of Catherine Drexel’s canonization as a saint of the church, one of the sisters who had lived with her for many years was asked what it was like to live with a saint. The sister responded unhesitatingly, “I never thought of her as a saint, just a very fine woman.”
In today’s reading from Kings, Elijah returns to Mount Horeb, the same location where God had spoken with Moses in the great theophany of covenant making. The prophet was advised to exit from the cave to witness the Lord’s passing by. There was first a heavy wind in which the Lord was not present. This was followed by an earthquake and then a fire, but the Lord was not present in either. Finally there was a still whispering sound in which the Lord’s voice was heard. God frequently manifests himself in the least pretentious manner. It may be an unexpected act of kindness, a moment of good news, or the tragedy of an unexpected loss. These are our “sounds of silence” in which the presence of God is so clearly felt. They are moments we want to cherish, small revelations of the divine, and often contain insights for our own spiritual life.
In events of great importance, it is often difficult to hear the voice of God. At times it seems as if God is absent. But in the sounds of silence,” we are often led to prayer and reflection. They are quiet ways in which God is at work, and we should not underestimate their importance.

Points to Ponder
Listening to God in the sounds of silence
Following God’s lead
Hearing God’s whisper

Intercessions

– That the Church may be the living sign of God’s love for people by its concern for the poorest among us, we pray:
– That the leaders of the world may look after the welfare of the people entrusted to them and bring them peace, justice, and dignity, we pray:
– That we may learn to take ourselves as we are with all our faults and weaknesses and entrust ourselves into the hands of God, were pray:

Prayer over the Gifts
Lord our living God,
your Son Jesus taught us
to seek your will not in our way
but in your own way and on your own terms.
As he is with us now,
may he help us with his word and his body
to bend our wills to yours.
And when we feel hurt in our struggles,
and disappointed with people,
do not allow us to withdraw within ourselves
but keep us going your way, not ours, to people.
For this was the way of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Prayer after Communion
Lord, our God of hope,
we have learned from your Son
and from those who were close to him
that faith and hope grow in us
when they are tested in trials and struggles.
God, help us win our struggles,
for they are your struggles in us.
Let your Spirit storm or breeze in us
and let us experience you as you are.
We ask you this through Christ our Lord.

Blessing
We could end this celebration by saying again: God is with you! Don’t forget this, especially when your life or your task is difficult. God is there, and in him you can trust. May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.