A Moment before the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

With the flow from parables into miracles, the Gospel readings for Ordinary Time work together to give us not only a picture of a "what" - the kingdom of heaven - but also of the "who" behind the kingdom of heaven. 

Given who God is and things like God's warning to Moses ("no one can see me and live"), when God passes by Elijah in the Old Testament reading, we are expecting it to be something literally awe-inspiring.  So when God shows up not in the rock-crushing windstorm, the earthquake, or the firestorm but in the still small voice afterwards, it is surprising and it tells us a lot about God that we could never hear otherwise. 

In Sunday's Gospel, the Apostles get caught in heavy winds while crossing the Sea of Galilee at night in a small boat.  When they see Jesus walking towards them on the water, Peter gets out of the boat, starts walking on the water - then falters, starts to sink, and is saved by Jesus.

That Jesus doesn't laugh at Peter's "moment of fail" but instead gently rescues Peter shows us again that still small voice, and a kindness and compassion that we would not have expected from someone as awe-inspiring as the "who" behind the kingdom of heaven.  

Readings for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/081014.cfm