Pope Francis has urged Christians, Catholics in particular to be courageous like the Prophet Isaiah. The Pope gave this charge during his catechesis on prayer following the cycle on the Healing the World wounded by the pandemic. Speaking to the faithful in the Paul VI Hall on the need for the spirit of Elijah, Pope Francis described the prophet Elijah as one of the most compelling characters in the whole of Sacred Scripture.
While recalling how Elijah appeared at Jesus’ side, together with Moses at the moment of the Transfiguration, the Pope said that the Prophet Elijah goes beyond the confines of his time. The Pope notes: “In the Bible, Elijah appears suddenly, in a mysterious way.” .Pope Francis said the prophet Elijah is without a precise origin, and above all without an end, as he was taken up into heaven: for this reason, his return was expected before the coming of the Messiah.
” “Scripture presents Elijah as a man of crystalline faith,”, the Pope emphasized According to him: “Elijah is the example of all people of faith who know temptation and suffering, but do not fail to live up to the ideal for which they were born.” Focusing on Elijah’s prayer life, Pope Francis underlined how prayer and contemplation sustained the Prophet not only in moments of great success but also in the face of adversity and persecution. Pope Francis also highlighted the need for the spirit of Elijah in today’s world. Said he: “How much we need believers, zealous Christians, who stand up in front of people with responsibility with the courage of Elijah: to say, ‘You cannot do this. “Elijah is the man of God, who stands as a defender of the primacy of the Most High. And yet, he too is forced to come to terms with his own frailties.
” Speaking on the Wisdom of Elijah, Pope Francis explained to those gathered, that Elijah shows us that there should be no dichotomy in the life of those who pray. In his words: “One stands before the Lord and goes towards the brothers and sisters to whom He sends us. The proof of prayer is the real love of one’s neighbour. “Elijah teaches us, commented the Pope, that ardent prayer and union with God cannot be separated from concern for the needs of others.” Pope Francis noted that prayer is a confrontation with God and letting oneself be sent to serve one’s brothers and sisters.
He also pointed out that in prayer, the prophet grew in discernment of the Lord’s will and found the courage to denounce injustice, even at great personal cost. The Pope noted that Elijah’s experience of God in prayer, culminated, when the Lord appeared to him not in wind and fire, but in a quiet whisper. Said he: “This is a story for us all. This is the story of Elijah, but it seems written for all of us. “In some evenings, we can feel useless and lonely. It is then that prayer will come and knock on the door of our hearts. “Even if we have done something wrong, or if we feel threatened and frightened, when we return before God in prayer, serenity and peace will return as if by miracle.