18 August 2012
After Elijah had successfully challenged the prophets of Baal and the people eventually had them slaughtered (see 1 Kings 18, Encouragements-113), the 3-year drought ceased immediately. After the heavy rainfall, the wicked wife of King Ahab, Jezebel chased after Elijah and wanted to have him killed. Elijah then fled to the wilderness heading towards Mount Horeb to escape the persecution (see Encouragements-126).
Extracted from the 1st book of Kings, Chapter 19:4-8
Elijah went into the wilderness, a day’s journey, and sitting under a furze bush wished he were dead.
‘O Lord,’ he said ‘I have had enough. Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.’
Then he lay down and went to sleep.
But an angel touched him and said, ‘Get up and eat.’
He looked round, and there at his head was a scone baked on hot stones, and a jar of water.
He ate and drank and then lay down again.
But the angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, ‘Get up and eat, or the journey will be too long for you.’
So he got up and ate and drank, and strengthened by that food he walked for forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.
Jesus is the Living Bread - Extracted from the holy Gospel according to John, Chapter 6:41-51
The Jews were complaining to each other about Jesus, because he had said, ‘I am the bread that came down from heaven.’ ‘Surely this is Jesus son of Joseph’ they said. ‘We know his father and mother. How can he now say, “I have come down from heaven”?’ Jesus said in reply, ‘Stop complaining to each other.
‘No one can come to me unless he is drawn by the Father who sent me,
and I will raise him up at the last day.
It is written in the prophets:
They will all be taught by God, and to hear the teaching of the Father,
and learn from it, is to come to me.
Not that anybody has seen the Father, except the one who comes from God:
he has seen the Father.
I tell you most solemnly, everybody who believes has eternal life.
‘I am the bread of life.
Your fathers ate the manna in the desert and they are dead;
but this is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that a man may eat it and not die.
I am the living bread which has come down from heaven.
Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever;
and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world.
Interpretation from the Church:
The aforesaid were read in Holy Mass last Sunday 12 August 2012 and a wise and elderly Priest gave the homily. We have summarized to share with you:
Look at this great prophet Elijah, he had eaten the scone and drank the jar of water given by the Angel of God and these had given him the nourishment and power to walk 40 days and 40 nights in the wildness to reach Mount Horeb where he encountered God again.
Now, the Body and Blood of Christ have been given to us regularly whenever we attend Holy Mass, to give us the nourishment and power to walk and progress in life, to keep us alive in possible trials and tribulations, and eventually to reach Heaven to see God face to face. Obviously, the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ are given to us in the physically form of bread and wine in order not to frighten us – but the consecrated Bread and Wine in Holy Mass are really His Body and Blood as Jesus does not lie. See the Scientific Proof of the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the consecrated Bread & Wine in Encouragements-10.
When Jesus gave the following promises, He really meant them literally; He was not speaking in metaphors:
- “and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:44);
- “They will all be taught by God, and to hear the teaching of the Father….” (John 6:45);
- “I am the bread of life… Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever …” (John 6:48, 51).
This wise Priest advised us to repeat the aforesaid many times so that these powerful words of Christ become so much in us that we are reminded always of God’s silent presence even when facing possible difficulties in life, that we remain optimistic, knowing that He would carry us through…
Obviously, the Body of Christ that we receive in Holy Mass taste exactly like bread, however, if we really believe it as the “Body of Christ”, our lives would really be transformed and we would witness the power of God working in us.
This wise priest also repeated the warning given by Saint Paul in his 1st letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 11:26-32 :
26 Whenever you eat this bread, then, and drink this cup, you are proclaiming the Lord's death until he comes.
27 Therefore anyone who eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily is answerable for the body and blood of the Lord.
28 Everyone is to examine himself and only then eat of the bread or drink from the cup;
29 because a person who eats and drinks without recognizing the body is eating and drinking his own condemnation.
30 That is why many of you are weak and ill and a good number have died.
31 If we were critical of ourselves we would not be condemned,
32 but when we are judged by the Lord, we are corrected by the Lord to save us from being condemned along with the world.
This wise Priest advised that if we know that we are “unworthy”, we should repent of our wrong doing & go confession before receiving the Lord Jesus Christ in Holy Communion.
This wise Priest also highlighted how God had fed the Israelites in the desert for 40 years after He had delivered them from the oppression of the Egyptians (see Encouragements-6), when He rained down daily the manna from heaven for them to eat and He fed them daily with the meat of quails at twilight. He also provided them with crystal clear water from “the rock” for them to drink (see Encouragements-7). The food and drink that Yahweh God had provided them contained all the nutrients & nourishment that were needed for their physical well-being during those 40 years. This God whom we put our trust is the faithful & loving Father who took good care of them until they reached the Promised Land where milk and honey flows…
He would do the same for us likewise, to feed us with the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ until we reach Heaven, where His promised huge inheritance is awaiting us. Obviously, beside the aforesaid, He also takes good care of our daily needs… So all we need to do is to place our trust in Him.
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit
-Extracted from the letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians, Chapter 4:30-5:2
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God who has marked you with his seal for you to be set free when the day comes.
Never have grudges against others, or lose your temper, or raise your voice to anybody, or call each other names, or allow any sort of spitefulness.
Be friends with one another, and kind, forgiving each other as readily as God forgave you in Christ.
Try, then, to imitate God as children of his that he loves and follow Christ loving as he loved you, giving himself up in our place as a fragrant offering and a sacrifice to God.
18 August 2012