20 So Ahab sent to all the people of Israel, and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel. 21 And Elijah came near to all the people, and said, “How long will you go limping with two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word.
22 Then Elijah said to the people, “I, even I only, am left a prophet of the LORD; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men. 23 Let two bulls be given to us; and let them choose one bull for themselves, and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it; and I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood, and put no fire to it.
24 And you call on the name of your god and I will call on the name of the LORD; and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.”
25 Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many; and call on the name of your god, but put no fire to it.”26 And they took the bull which was given them, and they prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped about the altar which they had made.
27 And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is musing, or he has gone aside, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.”28 And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them.29 And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice; no one answered, no one heeded.
30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me”; and all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that had been thrown down;31 Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD came, saying, “Israel shall be your name”;32 and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD. And he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed.33 And he put the wood in order, and cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood. And he said, “Fill four jars with water, and pour it on the burnt offering, and on the wood.”34 And he said, “Do it a second time”; and they did it a second time. And he said, “Do it a third time”; and they did it a third time.35 And the water ran round about the altar, and filled the trench also with water.36 And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.37 Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that thou, O LORD, art God, and that thou hast turned their hearts back.”
38 Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt offering, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The LORD, he is God; the LORD, he is God.”
17 “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them.
18 For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.
19 Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
THE FIRST READING: Ahab summoned the Hebrew people to Mount Carmel, hoping to unify the community who worshiped to different deities. One group remained faithful to the worship of Yahweh, whilst the other faction worshipped Baal! Elijah, the only Hebrew prophet mediated the sacrifical tustle to see if the Baal faction who had four hundred and fifty prophets, would match or out perform the response of the God of Israel.
After the Baal faction failed to elicit any response from their god, Elijah rebuilt the altar on twelve stones using; wood, seeds, water and a slaughtered bull, to “offer an oblation”—making a religious eucharistic offering—to evoke Yahweh’s response. The fire of the Lord fell upon the altar and consumed all the elements after Elijah’s prayer invocation! Elijah’s mediation prefigure the new covenant offering that was instituted by Christ Jesus. Lk 22:20;1Cor 11:25
THE GOSPEL READING: The Protestant Reformation that was elicited by Fr Martin Luther in 1517AD, caused division and splintered the body of Christ into thousands of different denominations, each with their own perculiar form of worship and belief. Most, if not all of these denominations have whittled down the act of worship to the extent that it does not represent or comport with Christs sacrificial offering and the Apostolic teachings that was handed down throughout the ages.
Our Lord in no uncertain terms clarify that He came to fulfill the law and the prophets, meaning that He had no intention to abolish the law and office of the prophets who were priests and by implication mediators between God and the people. God does not promote factionalism brought about by opinionated individuals who have seperated from the body of Christ. God does not take kindly to self opinionated individuals, when He assert that such men shall be the least in the kingdom of heaven! Those who find themselves outside the body of Christ are called to return to the fold, because they are missing out on the graces and gifts of Christ’s sacrificial offering!
LET US PRAY: Psalm 16:1-2,4-5,8,11,
1 A Miktam of David.
Preserve me, O God, for in thee I take refuge.2 I say to the LORD, “Thou art my Lord; I have no good apart from thee.”
4 Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows; their libations of blood I will not pour out or take their names upon my lips.
5 The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; thou holdest my lot.8 I keep the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
11 Thou dost show me the path of life; in thy presence there is fulness of joy, in thy right hand are pleasures for evermore.
Commentary. Henry R SYLVESTER Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days.
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