Sunday, November 8, 2015

Knox vs. The Message: 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

1 Kings 17:10-16

So he rose up and went to Sarephtha, and he had but reached the city gate when he met a woman gathering fire-wood; whereupon he called out to her, asking her to give him a cup of water to drink.  And as she went to fetch it, he cried after her, And when thou dost bring it, bring me, too, a mouthful of bread.  Why, she told him, as surely as the Lord thou servest is a living God, I have no food except a handful of flour at the bottom of a jar, and a drop of oil left in a cruet. Even now I am gathering a stick or two, to serve my son and me for our last meal. Have no fear, Elias said; go home on this errand of thine; only use the flour to make me a little girdle-cake first, and bring it me here; cook what is left for thyself and thy son.  This message the Lord God of Israel has for thee: There shall be no lack of flour in the jar, nor shall the oil waste in the cruet, till the Lord sends rain on this parched earth.  At that, she went and did Elias’ bidding, and there was a meal for him and for her and for all her household; and from that day onwards  there was still flour in the jar, still oil left in the cruet, as the Lord’s message through Elias had promised her.

The Message:
So he got up and went to Zarephath. As he came to the entrance of the village he met a woman, a widow, gathering firewood. He asked her, “Please, would you bring me a little water in a jug? I need a drink.” As she went to get it, he called out, “And while you’re at it, would you bring me something to eat?”  She said, “I swear, as surely as your God lives, I don’t have so much as a biscuit. I have a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a bottle; you found me scratching together just enough firewood to make a last meal for my son and me. After we eat it, we’ll die." Elijah said to her, “Don’t worry about a thing. Go ahead and do what you’ve said. But first make a small biscuit for me and bring it back here. Then go ahead and make a meal from what’s left for you and your son. This is the word of the God of Israel: ‘The jar of flour will not run out and the bottle of oil will not become empty before God sends rain on the land and ends this drought.’” And she went right off and did it, did just as Elijah asked. And it turned out as he said—daily food for her and her family. The jar of meal didn’t run out and the bottle of oil didn’t become empty: God’s promise fulfilled to the letter, exactly as Elijah had delivered it!

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