19th Sunday in Easter - Year A
A TINY WHISPERING SOUND
Once a fearless prophet, Elijah is cringing from dread of the brutal Queen, Jezebel. He runs away from Israel and returns to Mount Horeb (another name for Mount Sinai) in Egypt. He is looking for guidance from God. He hides in a cave and waits for a manifestation like that shown to the Israelites under Moses. A storm with thunder and lightning shakes the mountain. God does not appear in this violence. Instead he makes his presence known in silence. He effects Elijah's conscience as a "tiny whispering sound." We need to find God in quiet meditation.
I COULD WISH TO BE CUT OFF FROM CHRIST
Paul makes one of most amazing offers in history. He is willing to be damned if it could save others. The first converts to Christianity came from the Jewish people. Paul had been a zealous, conservative Jew. His missionary work had spread to gentiles as conversions began to fail among other Jews. He writes to the Jewish Christians of Rome to stress his links to the faith of Israel. He is bitter that he has not won over more of his people. He offers to trade his salvation if it could bring other Jews to Christianity. He would even be willing to cut off from Jesus if he switch trade places with any of them. He would lay down his future happiness for that of others.
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