In the Old Testament reading, God sends an angel to feed Elijah. Elijah was feeling frustrated, tired and despairing. He was ready to just roll over and die. There have been times in my life when I have felt like this. Those times have been few and far between, thanks be to God. The angel awakens Elijah twice to make sure that he gets enough sustenance to endure the long trek he still has ahead of him. This reminds me of a mother’s love – how a mom stays by the bedside of a sick child – making sure that he/she does not become dehydrated and listless.
In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he begins with some strong words, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were sealed…” What does it mean to GRIEVE the Holy Spirit? Do we grieve Him when we refuse his gifts? Do we grieve Him when we receive His gifts but then refuse to use them for the good of others? Do we grieve Him when we are afraid of His gifts – like having certain gifts of the Holy Spirit would make us stand out in a way that would make us uncomfortable?
John’s gospel speaks of the Bread of Life. Jesus tells us that He has given us His very flesh as our spiritual food – a “bread” that carries with it graces needed on our trek toward eternal life. I have read in the works of modern-day prophets and locutionists that there will come a time when we will be celebrating mass in hiding once again – that the Eucharist will not be readily available in our churches. I can’t tell you how this thought grieves me. I pray that if this does come to pass, that Christ will strengthen us somehow – or that God will send His angels to bring us the Eucharist wherever we may be – just like He fed Elijah when He was at his lowest. The Body and Blood of Christ is such a precious, holy gift – one that we should have profound love for – one that we should treasure.