Elijah: Faithful Prophet in Troubled Times – Jun 10 – Homily – Fr John Lawrence

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Fr John Lawrence gives the homily at Bloomington, IN, on Jun 10, 2024, where he highlights Elijah’s faithfulness to God, contrasting it with Ahab and Jezebel’s idolatry, urging us to follow Elijah's example.

Father begins by introducing Elijah, who appears suddenly in 1 Kings because of the urgent need for him. The king of Israel, Ahab, had done more evil than all before him (1 Kings 16:30 - https://bible.usccb.org/bible/1kings/16?30). He took Jezebel, daughter of the Sidonian king Ithobaal, as his wife and served Baal (1 Kings 16:31 - https://bible.usccb.org/bible/1kings/16?31). Jezebel's father was a priest of a fertility goddess and later became king by killing the former king. Jezebel's influence led to more idolatry, contrary to God's commandments (Exodus 20:3 - You shall have no other gods before me - https://bible.usccb.org/bible/exodus/20?3).

Elijah's name means "The Lord is my God," emphasizing his mission to remind Israel of the true God. Elijah declared a drought to show Baal's impotence (1 Kings 17:1 -  https://bible.usccb.org/bible/1kings/17?1), and he was sustained by ravens, which brought him food, possibly from Ahab's palace, showing God's provision (1 Kings 17:6 - https://bible.usccb.org/bible/1kings/17?6). This illustrates that God provides for His servants, echoing Psalms 121:2 - My help comes from the Lord - https://bible.usccb.org/bible/psalms/121?2.

Father explains that Elijah's reliance on God's providence and detachment from material possessions aligns with being "poor in spirit" (Matthew 5:3 - Blessed are the poor in spirit - https://bible.usccb.org/bible/matthew/5?3), contrasting with Ahab and Jezebel's worldly success. Elijah is seen as a model for religious life, being considered a virgin by saints like Ambrose, Jerome, and John Cassian. The Carmelites view him as their spiritual founder.

Finally, Father contrasts the end of Ahab and Jezebel with Elijah's ascension to heaven in a fiery chariot, urging us to imitate Elijah's faithfulness (2 Kings 2:11 - Elijah ascends to heaven in a chariot of fire - https://bible.usccb.org/bible/2kings/2?11).

00:00 – Elijah during Ahab's Evil Reign
00:33 – Jezebel and Idolatry
01:59 – Ahab's Political Alliances
02:51 – Elijah's Drought Prophecy
04:00 – Ravens Feed Elijah
06:36 – God's Provision
07:02 – The Poor in Spirit
08:01 – Elijah's Religious Life
08:43 – Elijah and the Carmelites
09:05 – Worldly vs. Spiritual Greatness
09:17 – Conclusion

Ave Maria!

Mass: Monday 10th Week of Ordinary Time - Wkdy
Readings:  - http://usccb.org/bible/readings/061024.cfm
1st: 1ki 17:1-7
Resp: psa 121:1-8
Gsp: mat 5:1-12

More on the Readings: https://airmaria.com/r?m=1619

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