10th Week, Wednesday, Jun 12

 10th Week, Wednesday, Jun 12

1 Kings 18:20-39 / Matthew 5:17-19 

Elijah prays: “Answer me, Lord!”

Lucille Campbell tells this story about her little daughter, Donna. One night Lucille suggested they might pray for the end to the drought that was ruining farm crops across the state. Donna showed unusual reluctance to do this. “Whatever is the matter, Donna?” said Lucille. “The farmers need rain badly for their crops.” “That’s not it,” said Donna. “I left my dolls in the sandbox in the yard. I’ll promise to pray for rain only if you promise to bring them inside, so that they don’t get wet.” It was with this same kind of faith that Elijah addressed God in his challenge with the 450 prophets of Baal. 


Do we believe that prayer “is not overcoming God’s reluctance,” but “laying hold of his highest willingness”? Richard Treacher “When we reach up to pray, God reaches down to give.” - German proverb


Every religion has a form of worship, and sacrifice is a very integral part of the worship. The devotees would make sacrificial offerings to the deity and pray for protection and favours. Hence the sacrificial offering is always made to the deity in the form of worship. In the 1st reading, we heard of two similar forms of worship that were offered on Mt. Carmel. One was offered by the 450 prophets of Baal, and the other by the prophet Elijah. And the God of Israel showed who the true God is as fire from heaven consumed the sacrifice offered by the prophet Elijah.

Indeed the Lord is our God and we are His people. God also gave us laws and established a form of worship called the Eucharist. Yet the uniqueness of the Eucharist is that it is God Himself who provided for the sacrifice and He even gave us His only Son for our salvation. In fact, through the Eucharist, God has bound Himself in a commitment to us and He has also fulfilled that commitment through the sacrifice on the cross.

God does not need us to sacrifice anything more. He only wants us to offer our hearts to Him, freely and lovingly.



Elijah gathers the people of Israel together to make them opt for Yahweh as their God, rather than Baal. The author relates this in a dramatic, epic style.

Jesus says something similar in words that at first sight seem to say the opposite: he has come not to abolish the law but to fulfill it, that is, to give it deeper dimensions. What matters for us especially is that we must be aware that we live under the new law of love and that we are guided by the liberating Holy Spirit from servitude to the law.

Opening Prayer: Lord our God, you have taken the initiative of loving us and bringing us your freedom through your Son Jesus Christ. Enrich us with the Spirit of Jesus, pour him out generously, without measure, that we may no longer hide behind traditions and the letter of the law, to extinguish the Spirit of freedom. Let him enlarge our hearts and stimulate our fantasy to discover love’s numerous ways to fulfill the law to perfection. We ask you this through Christ our Lord.

Commentary: When Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal, he was convinced that there was no god to champion their cause. Nevertheless, he taunts them, suggesting that the god Baal may be occupied or away on a journey and therefore incapable of responding. But when the God of Israel is invoked, his presence is felt at once as the burnt offering was consumed.

The story has folkloric qualities but also a contemporary application. People today have their own gods: financial success, theft, corruption. Even our most famous contemporary celebrities turn out to have feet of clay. They are properly called “idols”!
Yet the person of God lives by the faith and conviction that God will ultimately see him through. The gods of our own making are unreliable. We have a centuries-old tradition, one that Christ brought to fulfillment. If we place our confidence in Christ, we will not be disappointed. Other gods may disappoint us. But our faith tells us that there is only one God who counts. He is a God of mystery, of course, a God who is totally other, but a God who has spoken to us in Jesus and will not disappoint.

Points to Ponder

The gods of our own making

The presence of the one God in our life

Standing firm in faith.

– For all of us in the Church, that we may have enough love to obey the commandments to know and practice that they show our love of God and of neighbour, we pray:

– For priests, that in the sacrament of reconciliation they may let sinners feel the patience and the compassion of God, we pray:

– For all of us, that we may ask ourselves not what we are obliged to do but what we can do for God and one another, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts: God our Father, in this Eucharist we celebrate the new covenant brought us by your Son Jesus Christ. All that we can offer you is our openness to your initiative of love freely given and shared. Make us ministers of your adventure with us of intimate and lasting friendship. We ask you this in the name of Jesus the Lord. 

Prayer after Communion Lord our God, we have listened to the Word of your Son and eaten his refreshing bread. As he was not afraid of committing himself to fickle people, we ask you to liberate our faith from banality and routine and to help us to commit ourselves to others without fear or conditions. For you loved us first in Jesus Christ our Lord.

We live under the law of the new covenant, where the key to all laws and observances is love. May we understand and live by this love, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.