Saint of the day:
Patron Saint of Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Story of the Prophet Elijah
Elijah stood up boldly for God in a time when idolatry had swept his land. In fact, his name means "My God is Yah(weh)."
The false god Elijah opposed was Baal, the favorite deity of Jezebel, wife of King Ahab of Israel. To please Jezebel, Ahab had altars erected to Baal, and the queen murdered God's prophets.
Elijah appeared before King Ahab to announce God's curse: "As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word." (1 Kings 17:1)
Then Elijah fled to the brook Cherith, east of the Jordan River, where ravens brought him bread and meat. When the brook dried up, God sent Elijah to live with a widow in Zarephath. God performed another miracle there, blessing the woman's oil and flour so it did not run out. Unexpectedly, the widow's son died. Elijah stretched himself on the boy's body three times, and God restored the child's life.
Confident of the power of God, Elijah challenged the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of the false god Asherah to a showdown on Mount Carmel. The idolaters sacrificed a bull and cried out to Baal from morning until nightfall, even slashing their skin until blood flowed, but nothing happened. Elijah then rebuilt the altar of the Lord, sacrificing a bull there.
He put the burnt offering on it, along with wood. He had a servant douse the sacrifice and wood with four jars of water, three times, until all was thoroughly soaked.
Elijah called on the Lord, and God's fire fell from heaven, consuming the offering, the wood, the altar, the water, and even the dust around it.
The people fell on their faces, shouting, "The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God." (1 Kings 18:39) Elijah ordered the people to slay the 850 false prophets.
Elijah prayed, and rain fell on Israel. Jezebel was furious at the loss of her prophets, however, and swore to kill him. Afraid, Elijah ran to the wilderness, sat under a broom tree, and in his despair, asked God to take his life. Instead, the prophet slept, and an angel brought him food. Strengthened, Elijah went 40 days and 40 nights to Mount Horeb, where God appeared to him in a whisper.
God ordered Elijah to anoint his successor, Elisha, whom he found plowing with 12 yoke of oxen. Elisha killed the animals for a sacrifice and followed his master. Elijah went on to prophesy the deaths of Ahab, King Ahaziah, and Jezebel.
Like Enoch, Elijah did not die. God sent chariots and horses of fire and took Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, while Elisha stood watching.
A statue of Elijah in the Cave of Elijah, Mount Carmel, Israel.
A statue of Elijah in the Cave of Elijah, Mount Carmel, Israel
Elijah's Cave, Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery Haifa, Israel
Mount Sinai Elijah's Cave
Mt. Sinai is also known as Moses Mountain or Jebel Musa
Mt. Sinai is also called as Moses Mountain because this is where Moses received God’s Ten Commandments.
Steps of Repentance in Mt. Sinai
To reach the summit, pilgrims have two trails to choose from. One is the Camel Trail or known as the “Lazy Trail.” The other one is the
“Steps of Repentance” which has 3,750 steps. These steps pass over two mountains and they are physically demanding. The first 3,000 steps start from the southeastern part of St. Catherine Monastery and ends up to the Basin of Elijah. The final 750 steps are the ones you have to mount before reaching the summit. The steps were started by a single monk in repentance of a sin he committed. Many pilgrims climbed on this path which was built within 50 years in the 6th century. Every pilgrim will pass through two stone arches.
The Byzantine Our Lady of the Steward Chapel was built to honor a miraculous event that happened here in the 6th century.
View of St. Catherine Monastery from the Steps of Repentance.
The upper arch was built by Elijah and the lower arch was built by Moses which is also called the “Gate of Confession.”
Elijah's Basin on Mount Sinai
In the Jewish faith, one of the Passover traditions is to leave a chair open for Elijah, the prophet, and give him the 5th cup of wine
Elijah's Cup demonstrates that "Redemption" is not an abstract concept, an old wives' tale, a wishful fantasy, or a vague notion. Our belief in Moshiach and the Redemption is real and relevant, being a pillar of the Thirteen Principles of Jewish Faith. Elijah's Cup takes the mystical concept of Redemption and Moshiach out of the closet, and places the issue right on the table for all to see and realize.
Presently, this cup is unfortunately beyond our reach; we cannot actually drink it. But we are all ready and waiting. We are on standby, eagerly anticipating Elijah's long awaited heralding of the Redemption. Unlike the other cups that come and go, this special cup represents our staying power and perseverance.
Seder Dinner like Christ ate with the apostles
The Seder is a ritual performed by a community or by multiple generations of a family, involving a retelling of the story of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. This story is in the Book of Exodus.
Six Parts of the Seder Plate
Beitzah: The Roasted Egg is symbolic of the circle of life
It is also a symbol of spring - the season in which Passover is always celebrated.
Chazeret: Lettuce is often used in addition to the maroras a bitter herb. The authorities are divided on the requirement of chazeret, so not all communities use it. Since the commandment (in Numbers 9:11) to eat the paschal lamb "with unleavened bread and bitter herbs" uses the plural ("bitter herbs") most seder plates have a place for chazeret.
Zeroa: The Shankbone is symbolic of the Paschal lamb offered as the Passover sacrifice in biblical times. Some communities use a chicken neck as a substitute. Vegetarian households may use beets.
Charoset: Apple, nuts, and spices ground together and mixed with wine are symbolic of the mortar used by Hebrew slaves to build Egyptian structures. The sweetness represents freedom. The Mishna describes a mixture of fruits, nuts, and vinegar.
Karpas: Parsley is dipped into salt water during the seder. The salt water serves as a reminder of the tears shed during Egyptian slavery.
The parsley is a symbol of flourishing and the coming spring
Maror: Bitter Herbs (usually horseradish) symbolize the bitterness of Egyptian slavery.
Matzah: this unleavened bread was eaten by the salves while they were rushed out of Egypt