And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first,
and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. For thus says the Lord God of Israel:
The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the earth”
1 Kings 17:13-14 (NKJV)
One day like many others, along the road that from Jerusalem went down to Jericho, a man made his solitary journey , when he was attacked, beaten up and robbed. Left to his fate would not have survived if a foreigner had not had mercy on him. Unlike those who had preceded him, he had no religious conditioning, and after having given first aid, the Samaritan leads the wounded man to an inn and entrusts him to the innkeeper's care: "Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you" (Luke 10: 35). Different is the story of the prophet Elijah, sent out of the country in times of famine. At Sarepta he meets a widow, in worse conditions than his own, to whom he asks for something to eat. Thus we witness the materialization of God's providence, where nothing was there and through whom nothing or little had. To God little is enough.
We are challenged to have faith and courage to take what is in our availability and be part of others, not to be limited or to make a thousand arguments in acting. Sharing is the basis of multiplication. The woman initially did not trust the words of the prophet, but then convinced herself to do as requested. When she finds the strength to share, because love is to break with those who do not have, the hand of God intervenes and the oil and the flour multiply until they are exhausted. In the difficulties of life, ours and those we are called to love and help, faith becomes more true, robust, with less frills. When we reach out to the needy, we discover that the problems that afflict us disappear. The words of Dr. Patch Adams recall that "when you treat a person you can win or lose, when you take care of a person you can only win". The parable of the Good Samaritan shows us who along his path did not despise the one who was suffering, but he came down from the mount and took care of him. After taking care of it, he entrusted it to the innkeeper recommending "take care of him".
This reflection assumes a greater significance for those involved in the world of sanity and health (April 7th is the World Health Day). How many as the innkeeper have been entrusted with the care of many unfortunates (children, adults, elderly) in mission fields or reception centers. To each of them, beyond our prayer, a personal appreciation and encouragement to continue despite the difficulties. As the traveler left two deniers to compensate and repay the innkeeper, so we might feel called to support the work of these. The Samaritan left two deniers, which reminds us that the Lord provides us with not the least, but twice as much as we need to honor the "take care of him" mandate. We do not look at what is in our possession, but act by faith, believing that He will provide for us.
April 9th memorial
This date brings together two significant moments for the evangelical world. It was April 9, 1935 when in Italy the Circular no. 600/158, the so-called "Buffarini Guidi" - from the name of the then undersecretary of the Ministry of the Interior - which banished the Pentecostal cult "as it emerges that it is expressed and concreted in religious practices contrary to the social order and harmful to the physical and psychological integrity of the race". That provision, considered the most serious act of religious intolerance that was carried out in Italy after the Unity, had serious repercussions on the lives of hundreds of people and caused profound suffering to the Pentecostal communities present throughout the territory.
At dawn on 9 April 1945 Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Lutheran theologian and one of the protagonists of the resistance to Nazism, was hanged (he was less than 40 years old) together with other conspirators in the concentration camp at Flossenbürg, a few days before the end of the war.
Weekly Bible reading plan
09 April 1 Samuel 13-14; Luke 10:1-24
10 April 1 Samuel 15-16; Luke 10:25-42
11 April 1 Samuel 17-18; Luke 11:1-28
12 April 1 Samuel 19-21; Luke 11:29-54
13 April 1 Samuel 22-24; Luke 12:1-31
14 April 1 Samuel 25-26; Luke 12:32-59
15 April 1 Samuel 27-29; Luke 13:1-22
Photo by Rotorhead, www.freeimages.