Father Stefan reflects on first reading June 18,

“When the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind,
he and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal.
Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here;
the LORD has sent me on to the Jordan.”
“As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live,
I will not leave you,” Elisha replied.
And so the two went on together.
Fifty of the guild prophets followed and
when the two stopped at the Jordan,
they stood facing them at a distance.
Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up
and struck the water, which divided,
and both crossed over on dry ground.

When they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha,
“Ask for whatever I may do for you, before I am taken from you.”
Elisha answered, “May I receive a double portion of your spirit.”
“You have asked something that is not easy,” Elijah replied.
“Still, if you see me taken up from you,
your wish will be granted; otherwise not.”
As they walked on conversing,
a flaming chariot and flaming horses came between them,
and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.
When Elisha saw it happen he cried out,
“My father! my father! Israel’s chariots and drivers!”
But when he could no longer see him,
Elisha gripped his own garment and tore it in two.

Then he picked up Elijah’s mantle that had fallen from him,
and went back and stood at the bank of the Jordan.
Wielding the mantle that had fallen from Elijah,
Elisha struck the water in his turn and said,
“Where is the LORD, the God of Elijah?”
When Elisha struck the water it divided and he crossed over.”(2Kings 2:1. 6-14)

Jesus is the new Elijah. Elijah sent a double portion of the Spirit to Elisha. Jesus sends the Holy Spirit in overflowing measure to the Church. We read in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, “Therefore it is said, ‘When he ascended on high he led a lost of captives, and he gave gifts to men.’…He who descended is he who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things. And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the equipment of the saints, for the work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ.”(Eph 4:8-12)

Jesus is pouring out His Spirit on the Church. Peter proclaims after Pentecost, “But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and daughters shall prophecy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; yea, and on my menservants and my maidservants in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophecy.” (Acts 2:14-18)

A beautiful place to ask Jesus to pour out His Holy Spirit upon us and the world is in front of the Blessed Sacrament in adoration. Jesus is pouring out His Holy Spirit upon the Church. He is sending not just a double portion of His Spirit. Jesus is sending the Holy Spirit as a flowing river.

 

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