Year B: 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading: 1 Kings 19: 4-8
The First Reading offers another example of divine feeding - although this time, it is an angel - a messenger of God - rather than God Himself who feeds Elijah.
What Elijah has learnt is that pride comes before a fall - and that it does not pay to annoy jealous queens like Jezebel! If you have time, read the passage before today’s and see how Elijah had triumphed over the prophets of Baal (a pagan god)- possibly enjoying the triumph a little too much! Unfortunately, even though Elijah’s calling upon God causes the longed-for rain to fall, the deaths of her prophets infuriates Jezebel who threatens Elijah with death.
Understandably, Elijah flees. Having accomplished a mighty work for God, he now feels wholly inadequate and just wants to die.
God, of course, has seen Elijah’s confrontation with the priests of Baal - and possibly enjoyed the showmanship of it all too - and now shows that he values his prophet and is not willing to let him give up.
And so, at the depths of his despair, Elijah is awoken by an angel who bids him eat and drink - and, when he sleeps again, insists that he eat more as he has a long journey ahead of him.
The food feeds not just his body but his spirit too - he is strengthened to go on a journey to Mount Horeb where he will encounter God himself. Here he will discover that although God is a God of power, God is also a God who comes into stillness and speaks deep within.
This is a God who notices a hungry and weary traveller and sends an angel to minister to him.
This is a God who feeds people body and spirit - and who will give himself as food for the life of the world.
What does it mean for me?
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