“Elijah said to Ahab, ‘Go up, eat and drink,
for there is the sound of a heavy rain.’
So Ahab went up to eat and drink,
while Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel,
crouched down to the earth,
and put his head between his knees.
‘Climb up and look out to sea,’ he directed his servant,
who went up and looked, but reported, ‘There is nothing.’
Seven times he said, ‘Go, look again!’
And the seventh time the youth reported,
‘There is a cloud as small as a man’s hand rising from the sea.’
Elijah said, ‘Go and say to Ahab,
‘Harness up and leave the mountain before the rain stops you.’”
In a trice the sky grew dark with clouds and wind,
and a heavy rain fell.
Ahab mounted his chariot and made for Jezreel.
But the hand of the LORD was on Elijah,
who girded up his clothing and ran before Ahab
as far as the approaches to Jezreel.”(1King:41-46)
We read in the catechism, “Cloud and light. These two images occur together in the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. In the theophanies of the Old Testament, the cloud, now obscure, now luminous, reveals the living and saving God, while veiling the transcendence of his glory – with Moses on Mount Sinai, at the tent of meeting, and during the wandering in the desert, and with Solomon at the dedication of the Temple. The cloud ‘overshadows’ Mary. The cloud descended on Jesus, Moses and Elijah, Peter, James and John at the Transfiguration.”
Seven times God told Elijah to climb to the top of Carmel and look out to sea. Six times Elijah sees nothing. On the seventh time he see a cloud as small as a man’s hand rising from the sea. God rewarded Elijah faithfulness. Sometimes we don’t see immediate results but God still wants us to be faithful.
Every times we invoke the Holy Spirit he comes. The Holy Spirit works quietly but he is working. Elijah looks a seventh time, ‘In a trice the sky grew dark with cloud and wind, and a heavy rain fell.’ This little cloud produced a heavy rain.
This rain is the Holy Spirit. Jesus sends the Holy Spirit as a heavy rain. We can’t help but get soaked by this heavy rain. St Theresa of Avila talks about the 4 waters. In the beginning of the spiritual life we work hard to get a bucket of water from a well. At the end of the spiritual life we don’t have to work very hard to get the water because the Lord sends a soaking rain.
Come Holy Spirit and send us the soaking rain of the Holy Spirit.