Nineteenth Sunday Of Year B ln The Ordinary Time.
1kgs 19:4-8, Eph.4:30-5:2, Jn. 6:41-51.
The First Reading:
Elijah was on the run because of the episode or event that took place Chapter 18 of 1kgs. The contest at Mountain Carmel after three years drought degreed by prophet Elijah was the locus that made Elijah to flee from Ahab and Jezebel. In that contest, Elijah demonstrated that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the true God. Queen Jezebel and her husband through worship of Baal had led Israel into idolatry. Before the contest, Queen Jezebel had killed all the prophets of God except Elijah in other to sweep off Godly religion. After the contest at Mountain Carmel, Elijah killed all the 450 prophets of Baal. He was happy at least for bringing people back to God, also destroying the false prophets ruining the land in the name Baal.
Jezebel hearing the event of mountain Carmel, most annoying to her; that Elijah killed all the 450 prophets of her religion, she vowed and determined to do the same to Elijah. Elijah’s courage was shattered and broken by Jezebel’s threats, her unrepentant Baalism, her continuing power over Israel and unwilling to surrender. Since Jezebel did not capitulate, Elijah became a discouraged man. When you have done great work for promotion righteousness and nothing good seems to come out, do not be discouraged. When Jezebels and Ahabs around you decide not repent from their evil ways, do not be discouraged.
Owing to the facts above, Elijah fled into wilderness to save his life. At a point, Elijah desired to die. He asked God to take away his life. Israel believed that suicide was an affront to the Lord, it is not option even in the state of distress or discouragement. In response to Elijah, the Lord sent an Angel to bring the prophet food and drink both before and after he slept. After the rest and nourishment, Elijah took a forty-day journey to Mountain Horeb to meet with the Lord. Whenever we found ourselves in the same or similar circumstances surrounding Elijah, let us run to God, to the dwelling place of God. When the enemies of life rise against you, your business, profession, vocation, handwork etc. Do not forget to run to Mountain Horeb to meet with God who is author of every life and source good things. God is our strength.
In the Gospel:
We are still in the bread discourse of John 6. Jesus multiplied Five loaves of bread and two fish that feed five thousand men. After the miracle, the reason for such sign was not realized. The people kept searching for Jesus for more bread to eat. When Jesus told them about the true bread that will last, their steps changed. The bread that gives eternal life is the bread from heaven. Jesus therefore declared Himself as the living bread. He contrasted the earthly and heavenly bread. The manna was given in the wilderness, although sent from heaven to help sustain the lsraelites for their physical needs, could not impart eternal life nor meet their spiritual needs as could the bread of life that came down from heaven in person of Jesus Christ. The proof this contrast centers in the irrefutable fact that all the fathers died who ate the wilderness manna. To refuse Jesus; the bread of life is not to miss life in this world, but also in the world to come. We need to be eating this bread of life via Eucharist so as to gather more momentum to reach eternal life. May our lives represent the word of God we hear and the bread of heaven we eat. Amen.
Fr Emmanuel Nwokeji.