Faith Daily | 18 February 2023
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p537
Let your merciful ears, O Lord,
be open to the prayers of your humble servants;
and that they may obtain their petitions
make them to ask such thins as shall please you;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Mark 9: 2-13
2Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 3and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. 4And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. 5Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 6He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. 7Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!” 8Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.
9As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead could mean. 11Then they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” 12He said to them, “Elijah is indeed coming first to restore all things. How then is it written about the Son of Man, that he is to go through many sufferings and be treated with contempt? 13But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written about him.”
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Graeme Curnow
Upon re-reading the familiar account of the Transfiguration I asked myself “Why was Elijah part of this miracle ?”. So I read of his prophetic career in the northern kingdom, Israel, (1 Kings 17 - 2 Kings 2). I also researched what some Biblical Scholars had to say about the character and times of Elijah.
The later prophet, Malachi prophesied that God would send Elijah to prepare the way of the Messiah. Many people who were attracted to Jesus thought He was the returning Elijah. (Perhaps the miracles that Jesus performed led them to that conclusion.)
Elijah championed monotheism, no more strongly than through his triumphant challenge to the priests of Baal, a religion allied to a nature god and biological fertility; often celebrated in orgies.
Elijah was brave and a “prayer warrior” listening out for the voice of God to guide him throughout his life. He obeyed God and often he had to express hard truths in difficult circumstances. Sadly, Elijah also suffered from depression, but God provided for his daily sustenance and his safety.
He expected miracles, which appeared throughout his mission.
Elijah did not find God in natural phenomena (storm, earthquake, or lightening) but the “still, small voice” came to him as an intellectual revelation. (Spoiler alert: for Shinto-ists and adherents to the new religion of Environmentalism or the old religion of the Rainbow Serpent – that spiritual powers are not to be found in the natural world?)
Elijah’s end came in the fiery chariot, which was his spectacular, supernatural departure to heaven.
All things considered, Elijah ranks with Moses as a hero for the nation and in saving the Jewish religion of Yahweh from bring corrupted.
Six days before the Transfiguration Peter confessed before the other disciples that Jesus was the Messiah. Subsequently, in Vs 13,on the way back down the mountain, Jesus confirmed to His disciples that Elijah of the time had come, in the character of John the Baptist.
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may grant us:
the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,
the eyes of our understanding being enlightened;
confidence in the hope which springs from the atoning sacrifice of Jesus.,
experience of the riches of the His glory,
and blessings arising from the greatness of His power.