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June 15 - 2 Kings 2: 1, 6-14

Fr. Michael MachacekNativity of Our LordJune 15, 2022
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today's other readings are Psalm 31 and Mt. 6: 1-6, 16-18

Our 1st reading today is, not surprisingly, a favourite of artists, as the visuals of this story will set the artistic imagination aflame (no pun intended).

This reading also brings to mind a series of stained glass windows in St. Patrick's Church in Markham, that were installed about 20 years ago.  These are 6 different scenes from the Old Testament, directly over the main aisle, and interestingly, they are installed to be properly viewed while walking out of the church, as depicted in the photo above. But it is the final scene, which is located just before you leave the sacred space, that comes to my mind.  For it is the depiction of the ascension into heaven of Elijah that we read about today, as Elijah ascends in a flaming chariot with flaming horses. As we ascends, Elijah is beginning to drop his mantle, the symbol of his prophecy.  As we read, that mantle is to be picked up by Elisha, his successor.  But interestingly, Elisha is not depicted in this image.  In fact, as the worshipper leaves the church, it is as though Elijah is handing his mantle to each one of us. 

I treasure the truth of the message of that stained glass window at St. Patrick's.  For each person who attends mass, we too are to take something with us - that Elijah's mantle is offered to us implies we are called to take that mantle of faith and then live it out wherever we may find ourselves in the coming days. 

That is the duty of every Catholic.  Our faith is offered to us, is handed on to us.  Now we are called to take it and live it.