Day 171: Elijah and Elisha

2 Kings 2:1-12 Elijah’s mysterious ascent into Heaven by a “chariot of fire” recalls how Enoch “walked with God” and “was not, for God took him” (Gn 5:24). This ambiguous language is confirmed later in Scripture to indicate that Enoch was taken up by God (cf. Sir 44:16; 49:14; Heb 11:5). Elijah is remembered as the “father of the prophets” and held up in the New Testament as the model of a righteous man whose prayers are made “powerful and effective” (Jas 5:16-18). (CCC 2582)

Ch 2:9 There are many different kinds of charisms within the Church that can be taught and handed on to others, and communities can be formed through the inspiration of a particular charism. When Elisha asked Elijah for a “double share” of Elijah’s spirit, what he sought was the depth of devotion and the fullness of personal charism that had been bestowed upon Elijah by God himself. Later, John the Baptist would be compared to Elijah because he had the spirit and power of this great prophet. (CCC 523, 719, 2684)

Ch 2:12 Tearing one’s own clothing was a gesture of strong emotion, usually mourning or outrage (cf. 2 Sm 1:11).

2 Chronicles 25-26 Amaziah’s backsliding into idolatry and rejection of the prophet’s warnings resulted in his sound defeat and imprisonment after a poorly conceived battle with Israel. His presumptuous attempt at fighting Israel was motivated by his past military victories. 

Psalm 70 This brief psalm, prayed at Mass during Advent, expresses an anxious anticipation for the Lord’s arrival. 

Make haste to help not delay!: These words are most fitting in articulating joyful expectation for the Birth of Christ. (CCC 524, 1095)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven, we give you praise and we thank you. We thank you for the deliverance that you have given us. We thank you for delivering us from the hand of the Evil One. We thank you for all the times that you have helped us through dangers that we didn’t even know about. Thank you, Lord. No matter what our age is on this day, Day 171 of the Bible in a Year, whether we are still in our single digits in our years, or whether we are approaching triple digits in years, God, none of those days were earned by us. None of those days are things we deserve. Even this breath right now, even this heartbeat right now, we don’t deserve. They are just simply your gift. And you have brought us to this day, and you give us this breath, and you continue to allow our hearts to beat in our chests and we thank you. Please receive our thanks today in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

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