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Elijah, Prophet and Inspiration

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Elijah's memory was kept alive especially on Mount Carmel where he challenged the people to stop hobbling first on one foot and then on the other but to choose who is God in Israel - Yahweh or Baal. According to the story, which can be found in the First Book of Kings, chapter 18, Elijah's sacrifice was consumed by fire from heaven which proved to the people that Yahweh was the true God.

Elijah made himself available for God's work and was sent into various situations to proclaim God's word. Elijah undertook a long journey through the desert where he began to despair. He sat down under a bush and wished he were dead but God would not allow him to die and prodded him to continue his journey to Mount Horeb. When he arrived there, God became present to Elijah. God came not with the signs usual in the Old Testament of fire, earthquake and mighty wind but in the sound of a gentle breeze. Elijah was sent back to his people to carry out God's will.

From Elijah, Carmelites learn to listen for the voice of God in the unexpected and in silence. We seek to allow the Word of God to shape our minds and our hearts so that the way we live and the things we do may be prophetic and therefore faithful to the memory of our father Elijah.

elijah04 150Elijah, a prophet close to God and to his people, has great relevance for us. We feel that what is happening in our times can be compared to the experience of this great prophet of God as it is related in the Books of the Kings (cf. 1 Kg 17: 19-21; 2 Kg 1-2).

After his stunning success on Mount Carmel, he was threatened by Jezebel. Overcome by fear and entered a deep personal crisis. He felt so low and alone that he wanted to die.

capitvlvmgeneralemmxix 150‘There is nothing new under the sun.’ This affirmation of Qohelet 1:9 may seem excessive, but in reality it is of considerable actuality. Wanting to dwell a little on prophecy and on the theme entrusted to me, ‘prophetic witness for today's generation,’ we can immediately realize that the appeal and testimony of biblical prophets are still necessary and urgent nowadays, in a situation that presents aspects and problems similar to those that the biblical prophets have had to face.

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