One of those days
A Reflection from the Interpath Traditions
by Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
Sometimes the uncertainty and ambiguity of life catch up with us. We wonder if we have the strength to continue. We look back over our lives, fretting we might not have fared very well. Perhaps, after all is said and done, we are no better than those we tried to exceed. Weary, worn out, and sad, we seek a peaceful conclusion to the turmoil and upset of life. Thus was a day in the life of Elijah.
According to II Kings 19: 4-8, the Prophet was exhausted. The madness of the World around him caught him by the heart. Confessing his inadequacy, he seeks nothing more than the sleep of unconsciousness. Drifting off into a deep sleep, he wakes up to find a hearth cake and a jug of water. Something greater than himself loved him, providing food and drink for the journey.
Perhaps our Prophet was tempted by the outcome. If we do not see and experience the results we crave, we are tempted to judge ourselves as a failure. Yet, nourished and strengthened by bread and water from the “touch of an Angel,” Elijah can continue his journey.
The great lesson here invites us to do what is right, just, good, true, and beautiful no matter the outcome. We live in a World judging everything and everyone by appearances. Such an approach is short-sighted and harmful. We are more than what our status might convey or our successes measure. The Angel did not evaluate or counsel the Prophet. The Angel simply shared some bread and water for the journey. Sometimes it does not take much to encourage another to be faithful to themselves for the sake of others.
If we view this episode in its Biblical context, we see Elijah fleeing for his life. The once-mighty Prophet who stormed the heavens, defeated his enemies, and powerfully called his people back to their God, is now worn, hungry, and fleeting. Our temptation is to think the “Angel’s touch” is a blessing of reward in good times rather than a gentle presence in bad times.
A “gentle touch” may not seem like much when life is harsh, but thank God for all the people who gently touch us with their kind words, loving presence, and compassionate heart when life is brutal and the day is cruel.
Blessings to you, Holy Community, for being the “touch of an Angel” to those who are struggling with the issues of life. It takes great courage to be a loving and gentle touch. May you be touched by an Angel as you journey along the pathways of life.
As things begin to return to a new normal, we at The Interfaith Peace Project are here for you in any way that you need us. The Antioch Center is now open to fully vaccinated people on Wednesdays, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. We are vigilant and will adjust to any and all recommendations from the state and county. We will continue our work through Zoom as we add in person programs. If you would like to schedule an in person or Zoom program or would like a phone appointment with any of us, give us a call. You may call or email Tom at: