19th Sunday Ordinary Time - Year B
Around 850 years before Jesus, Israel was ruled by a weak king, Ahab. He had married a pagan, named Jezebel. He converted to her religion, which was essentially a sex cult. Elijah, a prophet, challenged this and became an enemy of the queen. She threatened to have him killed on sight.
Elijah was broken. He began to flee to Mount Sinai to ask God for help. Along the way, he gave up and prayed for death. God sent a messenger with bread and water. This gave him the courage to continue the long journey. The bread seems to foreshadow the Eucharist its power to keep us faithful to our personal journey to God.
Do Not Sadden The Spirit
Today's second reading is possibly the most tragic passage in the bible. Some people have the idea that the Holy Spirit is nothing but an impersonal force, without feelings. This is a terrible misconception. The Spirit is equal to the Father and the Son, who both show powerful emotion. Moreover the Spirit is intimately involved in our personal lives. This is not the characteristic of a detached "energy", but of a person. In view of this passionate interest, it is a tragedy that the Holy Spirit can be sad. Love means making another person happy, even at the cost of our own happiness. What could you do to make the Holy Spirit happy?
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