Posted by: livingscripture | June 18, 2014

Eleventh Wednesday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day


“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’.”

 (2 Kings 2: 9-10)              

How should we live this WordGiuseppeAngeli-Elijah-Taken-Up-in-Chariot-of-Fire-1740-55[1]

It is difficult to let go of the persons who have been important to us on our journey of life and of faith.  It is difficult to separate from them because it seems we cannot go it alone.  We will not know whom to ask counsel from or to whom to go to feel understood and known.  Elisha feels all the affective and emotional weight before Elijah’s departure.  Elijah had been his spiritual father, had generated his vocation as a prophet, and had helped him discover his deepest identity that was also his mission to the people.  He had taught him how to live for others and not for himself alone.

However, Elisha does not stop at his suffering and does not close in on himself.  He asks a double portion of the great prophet’s spirit and this happens.  He received and now he is ready to give.  He acquires the strength and the courage of one who understands that the time for action has come.

Elisha stood at the bank of the river and crosses over to the other side.  It is a spiritual crossing as well as a geographic one.  It is the shore of maturity, to play out one’s life, to risk on one’s faith, based on one’s own faith and not that of another.  The disciple has interiorized the example and words of his teacher.  From now on, his choices will always be in reference to Elijah, though in a hidden way.

Elisha traces out for us the road for living detached from those who have formed and nourished us with their faith and their experience.  We recognize what we have received and we walk with them as long as possible, asking God to give us double their spirit.  We can ask for this, because if the Lord has given us these teachers, then we must not let anything we have received fall away.  We must make it fruitful to give glory to God and to thank those who have given their life to us by giving our life as well.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will ponder this event and think about the people who have helped me in my human and faith life.  I will ask the Lord to make it fructify in my life for others. 

Thank You Lord for the spiritual mothers and fathers You have given me.  Let me not lose anything of what they have given me by becoming a spiritual mentor to others. 

The voice of Anselm Grun, Spiritual Father

The tie that formed between a spiritual guide and the disciple receives a new dimension at death.  The guide intercedes for the disciple with God.  The guide is near and now accompanies in new invisible ways.  The guide is a constant companion, a vital space for the disciple.

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