"the greatest thing in all my life is..."
"Then Elisha, filled with a twofold portion of his spirit, wrought many marvels." —Sirach 48:12
Elijah humbled Israel's economy by stopping the rain for three-and-a-half years. "Three times [he] brought down fire" (Sir 48:3). He slit the throats of several hundred false prophets (1 Kgs 18:19, 40). He "brought a dead man back to life" (Sir 48:5). He was "taken aloft in a whirlwind, in a chariot with fiery horses" (Sir 48:9). Yet these were not the greatest things Elijah did. His greatest work was to make Elisha his disciple. This led to Hazael and Jehu being anointed, who finally brought down the wicked kingdom of Ahab and Jezebel (see 1 Kgs 19:15-16, 19).
It may have been difficult for Elijah to think of discipleship, because he considered himself "the only surviving prophet of the Lord" among people who were ambivalent about their commitment to the Lord (see 1 Kgs 18:21-22). Elijah may have thought that there was no one willing to be his disciple. Nevertheless, in fact, there were seven thousand men in Israel who were committed to the Lord and opposed to the idol-worship of Baal (1 Kgs 19:18). Even so, the Lord had to whisper in Elijah's ear before he thought of discipleship.
Jesus has already whispered in our ears before His Ascension. He commanded us to make disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19). This may well be the greatest thing we ever do to build the Lord's kingdom.
Prayer: Father, send the Holy Spirit so that I will make as many disciples as possible who will make as many disciples as possible.
Promise: "Give us today our daily bread, and forgive us the wrong we have done as we forgive those who wrong us." Mt 6:11-12
Praise: St. Aloysius died at twenty-four ministering to the ill, joyfully serving victims of a severe plague. He wrote: "God in His grace and His love is showing me the path of true happiness."
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 27, 2018
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