Commentary on the Gospel of
What a blessing to have such a powerful message in Second Kings to meditate on. In this reading loyalty is personified by Elisha when he tells Elijah he will not leave Elijah to journey alone on his way to heaven. Rather, Elisha intends to stay with him and to stand by his side to the very end and watches Elijah go to heaven aboard a fiery chariot. To bring this beautiful image into our real world one only has to think of our parents or friends who have passed on. Were we there at their side as the dutiful daughter/son or as the loyal friend to aid them on their journey? Did we make time to adjust our busy schedule to visit our loved ones in hospice before their journey to heaven?
And the message in 2 Kings gets even better. Elijah is humbled by the loyal support and turns to Elisha and asks him what he would like as a reward for loyalty. Does Elisha ask for his cattle, gold or land? No, he asks “May I receive a double portion of your spirit”…..for a faith in God above as strong as Elijah’s. Would we have made the same request if our dying loved one asked us to choose something of theirs for us to keep? Would we say how grateful we would be to wear their gold ring as a remembrance or would our choice be what is really important - a faith and belief that is as strong as theirs as they await heaven?
Please take the time to reflect on the wonderful qualities that Elisha displayed in this reading and see if you too can find ways that you can demonstrate your loyalty to those near and dear to you and to learn to value not what is temporal but to value the gift we cherish above all others—true faith.