Weekend Reflections for 8/11/17
In what circumstances and manner does God come to us, speak to us? In the movie, Out of Africa, there is a terrible fire which destroys much of the work of the heroines' endeavors on behalf of the indigenous people with whom she lives. When one of her servants comes to wake her and inform her of this disaster, he begins by saying, "God is calling."
A few weeks ago in the daily Scripture readings we often heard how God appeared to Moses and the Israelites in their journey out of Egypt and into the desert. God was present to them in a dense cloud often accompanied by peals of thunder and lightning and even a very loud trumpet blast. The mountain from which God revealed himself was like a smoking, erupting volcano.
In today's first reading the prophet Isaiah radically changes the circumstances of God's presence. The Lord is experienced in a quiet, gentle breeze, and not in fire or an earthquake. St. Ignatius of Loyola uses similar terms in describing experiences of God for persons progressing in the spiritual life. In his guidelines for understanding and distinguishing certain spontaneous thoughts and feelings as coming from God or are from the spirit of evil, he describes the touch of the spirit of God as being very delicate, gentle and often delightful, or like a drop of water penetrating a sponge.
In today's Gospel Jesus comes to the disciples in a threatening storm, walking on the water. So we see that God comes to us, speaks to us, in the manner God chooses, in the manner more beneficial for us. Jesus perhaps alludes to this in John's Gospel, 3,8, "The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."
What is important is that in so far as possible we be alert, watching and receptive to God's mysterious presence in our midst. It can be in any situation or circumstance. We cannot typecast the Spirit or tie it down to only certain kinds of circumstances. But we can ready, alert, openand receptive.
-Fr. Jim Blumeyer, SJ
PLEASE PRAY FOR THOSE ON RETREAT THIS WEEK AS WELL AS OUR DECEASED RETREATANTS.
PLEASE PRAY FOR PEACE IN OUR COMMUNITY