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Thursday, June 20, 2002

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Sirach 48:1-14
Psalm 97
Matthew 6:7-15

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"the greatest thing in all my life is..."

"Then Elisha, filled with a twofold portion of his spirit, wrought many marvels." —Sirach 48:1

Elijah humbled Israel's economy by stopping the rain for three-and-a-half years (Sir 48:2-3). "Three times (he) brought down fire" (Sir 48:3). He slit the throats of several hundred false prophets (1 Kgs 18:19, 40). He "brought a dead man back to life" (Sir 48:5). He was "taken aloft in a whirlwind, in a chariot with fiery horses" (Sir 48:9). Yet these were not the greatest things Elijah did. His greatest work was to make Elisha his disciple (see 1 Kgs 19:19). This led to Hazael and Jehu being anointed (see 1 Kgs 19:15-16), who finally brought down the wicked kingdom of Ahab and Jezebel.

It may have been difficult for Elijah to think of discipleship, because he considered himself "the only surviving prophet of the Lord" (1 Kgs 18:22) among people who were ambivalent about their commitment to the Lord (see 1 Kgs 18:21). Elijah may have thought that there was no one willing to be his disciple. But, in fact, there were seven thousand men in Israel who were committed to the Lord and opposed to the idol-worship of Baal (1 Kgs 19:18). Even so, the Lord had to whisper in Elijah's ear before he thought of discipleship.

Jesus has already whispered in our ears before His Ascension. He commanded us to make disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19). This may well be the greatest thing we ever do to build the Lord's kingdom.

Prayer:  Father, send the Holy Spirit so that I will make as many disciples as possible who will make as many disciples as possible.

Promise:  "Give us today our daily bread, and forgive us the wrong we have done as we forgive those who wrong us." —Mt 6:11-12

Praise:  Carol rejoices in her intercessory ministry as she sees changes in her home, her hometown, and even around the world.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, December 4, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 10, 2001