The chapters we read this week present to us some significant moments in the prophetic ministry of both Elijah and Elisha. The readings for Monday open with two extraordinary stories from the life of Elijah: his takedown of the prophets of Baal, and then that beautiful sequence on the mountaintop where he hears the voice of God not in dramatic signs, but in a still, gentle breeze. When Elijah gets taken up to Heaven (an honour reserved, outside of Jesus Himself, for only three figures in scripture: Elijah, Enoch, and the Blessed Virgin Mary), he makes way for his protege, Elisha. Where Elijah’s ministry has been largely about bringing to light the justice and judgment of God, Elisha is a prophet of mercy – something we hear in the stories we’ll read this week.
It’s not a coincidence that the themes of judgment and mercy are so close together – in our faith, it’s important to look through both lenses. God is a just judge, certainly, but He is also merciful. We can be grateful that, as was the case in the time of Elijah and Elisha, He still sees the big picture and exercises both justice and mercy for our benefit.
Here are the readings for the coming week: