15.062024 — Complete Breakup with the Past

Posted under Reflections on June 14th, 2024 by

10th Week in Ord. Time, Saturday – 15th June 2024 – 1 Kgs 19,19-21; Mt 5,33-37

Complete Breakup with the Past

The Lord gave Elijah three anointing tasks earlier (1 Kgs 19,15-16). In today’s reading, Elijah carries out the third task, manifesting his prompt obedience to God’s word. As Elijah passed by, he threw his cloak over the shoulders of Elisha. The meaning was clear. He was passing over to Elisha the prophetic vocation which had been his. The cloak represented both the person and his authority. In Elijah’s case, the cloak had miraculous powers which were also being passed on. Elisha immediately accepted the call and made a petition to Elijah. Elisha’s request to go back and say goodbye to his family reminds us of the man who wanted to say goodbye to his family before becoming a disciple of Jesus (Lk 10,59). Elisha’s petition may look contradictory. It sounds like Elisha is not responding the way Jesus was asking his followers. At the deeper level, Elisha’s response is a complete, unconditional, and irrevocable response to following Elijah and becoming a prophet. He kills the oxen, burns the wooden yoke and thus breaks with his past vocation. To say idiomatically, he was burning his ‘boats’ and committing himself totally and unreservedly to his calling as God’s prophet and spokesman.

14.06.2024 — Running for Life of Faith

Posted under Reflections on June 13th, 2024 by

10th Week in Ord. Time, Friday – 14th June 2024 – 1 Kgs 19,9.11-16; Mt 5,27-32

Running for Life of Faith

In the first reading, we find Elijah goes to Horeb, the mountain of God, weary, exasperated and ill-tempered, taking shelter by hiding in the cave.  It’s because he is threatened of his life by Queen Jezebel. At this juncture, the Lord’s question is, “what are you doing here, Elijah?” A question pertaining to everyone, seeking personal response. Elijah replies that God’s people have deserted him and torn down their altars; He is the only prophet left and his life is in danger. In his reply, he intimates God to bring in divine vengeance against his enemies. Elijah’s answer makes two things clear. First, he believes that he is alone in his faithful service to the Lord. Second, he is frustrated by the injustice done to him for his faithfulness to Yahweh. Elijah seems to have missed the point of the symbols he just experienced. The Lord is not to be looked in through violent behaviour, but in the quiet inspirations of his presence. At the same time, Elijah has failed to remember the incredible things, the powerful acts of faith, done by him and of God’s protection until now. Elijah wasn’t afraid to die, but he ran for more meaningful and substantive life. He ran for the life of faith; his faith in a just world, where right prevails.

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