Our God is one of surprises. He tells Elijah that he should stand outside a cave on Mount Horeb and that he would be passing by (1 Kings 19:9a,11-13a). After all the might and power God has displayed in liberating and leading his people, his passing-by logically would be a great and momentous event like a hurricane, earthquake, or blazing fire. But God surprises us by passing by in a tiny, whispering sound. In a way, it prefigures Jesus, the Son of God, entering Jerusalem on a colt, the foal of an ass, instead of on a beautiful, white horse. It shows, as we read in the Bible, God’s ways are not our ways—nor are God’s ways the ways of the world. In short humility is the virtue that most completely unites us to Jesus and enables us to enter into communion with the Holy Trinity.
In the gospel, God again surprises us with Jesus walking on the water to save the disciples (Matthew 14:22-33). The apostles are so surprised that they don’t even recognize Jesus and think he is a ghost. Of course, he saves them after Peter’s surprising walking on the water as well. But the most important message is that Jesus comes to save us when we need him in the storms of our voyage on the seas of life, if only we call out like Peter, “Lord, save me!”
“We can only receive God once a day; a soul enkindled with divine love makes up for this by the desire of receiving him every moment of the day.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars