Week 10: Sunday

“Elijah said to her, “Give me your son.” Taking him from her lap, he carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his own bed ...” (1 Kings 17:19.)

Saint Ephrem the Syrian offers the following insight on these verses from today’s Gospel proclamation:

“He stretched himself on the child three times and cried out to the Lord, ‘O Lord my God, let this child’s life come into him again.’” These words contain many symbols. [The Scripture] shows us immediately that through the invocation of the three names a human being will come back to life. If he kills the ancient Adam with the help of the Messiah in the holy baptism. The divine Paul says, “If we have died with the Messiah, we believe that we will also live with him.” And what follows agrees precisely with this meaning: “He stretched himself on the child,” because in this life, which he will give us after we are dead to that ancient Adam, “he will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory.” And here you can also see a symbol of the triple descent of the Son of God to the dead: the first symbol consists here in the fact that he was made flesh and included his infinite nature into the womb of the Virgin; the second, that he stretched his body on the wood and was crucified; the third, that whoever accepts death lies in the grave and goes down to Sheol, so that, in order to vivify humankind, God consented to stretch his majesty on our smallness. “O ineffable miracle,” which Isaiah calls “wonder,” “his Lord has come down to the man and has assumed the likeness of a slave.” (On the First Book of Kings, 17.)

O God, from Whom all good things come,
grant that we, who call on You in our need,
may at Your prompting discern what is right,
and by Your guidance do it.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen