ELISEUS (IX CENT, B. C.

)
Eliseus («God is my salvation») is a dominant figure of the IX cent. before Christ. We
no! the name of his father" #a$hat" a native of %bel &eholah" to the south of 'et(
#han" and !e no! that his family !as !ell off (I )g. *+, *-(*+). .he ob/ect of a
s$ecial and direct choice on the $art of God (I )g. *+, *-)" he !as called to follo!
Elias (I )g. *+, *+ ff.). 0e succeeded Elias after the latter1s mysterious
disa$$earance" and he inherited the s$irit of Elias in the measure established by the
2a! for the first(born (double that of the other heirs) (II )g. 3, *(*4). .hat he merited
the name «man of God» is revealed" above all" in the $rodigies of every ind !ith
!hich his life is !oven. 0e !ored them on his o!n behalf" on behalf of individuals
and of entire communities.
.o his o!n advantage" he used the mantle left him by Elias to se$arate the !aters of
the 5ordan" !hich he crossed dry(shod (II )g. 3, *6 ff.). &oreover" he had t!o bears
tear into $ieces a grou$ of young rogues !ho moced his baldness as he !as going
to 'ethel (II )g. 3, *7(38).
0e !ored many $rodigies for individuals, he saved the !ido! of a $ro$het from her
creditor by multi$lying oil miraculously for her (II )g. 8, *(9): by his intercession he
obtained a son for a $ros$erous lady of #unam" from !hom he had received
hos$itality" and then made him come bac to life after he had died of sunstroe (II ).
g. 8, 7(69): for a disci$le of the schools of the $ro$hets" he caused an a;e fallen into
the 5ordan to be returned (II )g. -, 4 ff.): finally" he commanded a #yrian general"
<aaman" to !ash in the 5ordan seven times" in order to be cured of a le$rosy !hich
subse=uently afflicted Eliseus1 o!n servant Gie>i" !ho !as guilty of avarice (II )g. 4).
.he miraculous activity of Eliseus also benefited !hole communities, for the citi>ens
of 5ericho he $urified the un!holesome !aters of their s$ring and made them
drinable (II )g" 3, *+(33): in favor of the follo!ers of the $ro$hets" he made
$oisoned food eatable and multi$lied bread for them (II )g. 8, 67(88).
Eliseus also too an active $art in the $olitical events of his country" e;ercising a
$rofund influence u$on them by his oracles and his $rodigies. In the !ar of 5oram"
the ing of Israel (746(83 '. C)" !ho !as allied !ith 5uda and Edom against &esa"
ing of &oab (ab. 74? '. C)" Eliseus slaed the thirst of the army and foretold victory
(II )g. 6)" because of his regard for 5osa$hat (ab. 79?(8+).
In the !ars that 'en(0adad II" ing of @amascus" !aged against Israel" Eliseus
intervened a first time by revealing the $lans of the enemy to )ing 5oram and also by
using an artifice to ca$ture their soldiers (II )g. -, 7(36): another time" during the
siege that the same 'en(0adad II laid to #amaria" the $ro$het foretold the end of the
resulting famine and of the siege itself (II )g. -, 38(9, 3?). .hen" !hen 'en(0adad
became sic" Eliseus foretold his death and indicated his assassin !ould be 0a>ael"
!ho" in fact" suffocated the ing and reigned in his stead (II )g. 7, 9(*4). .hrough a
disci$le" Eliseus had 5ehu (ab. 786(*- '. C.) secretly anointed" in Aamoth Galaad"
as the future ing of Israel" !ith the tas of e;terminating the house of %chab (II )g.
+, *(*?).
% short !hile before his death" !hich occurred about 9+?" Eliseus made his last
a$$earance u$on the $olitical scene" to $redict three victories against #yria to 5oas
(ab. 7?*(97-)" the second successor of 5ehu (II )g. *6, *8(*+).
Contrary to Elias" Eliseus remained in close contact !ith the «schools of the
$ro$hets» Bsons of the $ro$hetsB" u$on !hom he e;ercised a strong influence (II )g.
3, 6" *4 ff.: -, * ff.). % hymn of $raise of Eliseus is given in Eccli. 87, *3 ff. % !onder(
!orer in life" Eliseus remained such after his death by bringing a dead man !ho
had been buried in Eliseus1 tomb bac to life (II )g. *6, 3?). .he em$ty tomb !as still
seen in #amaria in the time of #t. 5erome. 5ulian the %$ostate had desecrated it" but
some bones had been saved: some of them !ere transferred to %le;andria" others to
Constantino$le. In 9*7 some !ere brought to Aavenna" !here they !ere lost. 2ater
the relic of a head" said to be his" !as sho!n in the church of #t. %$ollinaris <uovo.
.he general cha$ter of the Carmelites in *6-+ authori>ed funds to obtain the body of
Eliseus.
In the ancient martyrologies the liturgical feast is assigned to %ug. 3+. %mong the
Ethio$ians it is celebrated on Cct. *-: among the Grees and 2atins it is assigned"
instead" to 5une *8. %t Constantino$le" besides the feast of 5une *8" there e;isted a
common commemoration !ith Elias" &oses and %aron on 5uly 3?.
More about St. Methodius I from Wikipedia
St. Methodios I or Methodius I (Greek: Μεθοόδιος ΑD), (788/800 – June 14, 847)
was Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from March 4, 843 to June 14, 847.
He was born in Syracuse and died in Constantinople. His feast day is celebrated
on June 14 in both the East and the West.
Life
Born to wealthy parents, Methodios was sent as a young man to Constantinople
to continue his education and hopefully attain an appointment at court. But
instead he entered a monastery in Bithynia, eventually becomingabbot.
Under the Emperor Leo V the Armenian (813-820) the Iconoclast
persecution broe out !or the second time" In 81# $ethodios %ent
to &ome' perhaps as an en(o) o! the deposed *atriarch +i,ephor-s"
Upon his return in 821 he %as arrested and e.iled as an iconodule b)
the Iconoclast re/ime o! Emperor $ichael II" Ironicall)' $ethodios %as
released in 820 and assumed a position o! importance at the court o!
the e(en more !er(entl) iconoclast Emperor 1heophilos"
Soon after the death of the emperor, in 843, the infuential
ministerTheoktistos convinced the Empress Mother Theodora, as regentfor her
two-year-old son Michael III, to permit the restoration ofcons by arranging that
her dead husband would not becondemned. He then deposed the iconoclast
Patriarch John VII Grammatikos and secured the appointment of Methodios as
his successor, bringing about the end of the iconoclast controversy. A week after
his appointment, accompanied by Theodora, Michael, and Theoktistos,
Methodios made a triumphal procession from thechurch of Blachernae to Hagia
Sophia on March 11, 843, restoring the icons to the church. This heralded the
restoration of Orthodoxy, and became a holiday in the Eastern Orthodox Church,
celebrated every year on the First Sunday of Great Lent, and known as the
"Triumph of Orthodoxy".
Throughout his short patriarchate, Methodios tried to pursue a moderate line of
accommodation with members of the clergy who were formerly Iconoclasts. This
policy was opposed by extremists, primarily the monks of
the Stoudios monastery, who demanded that the former Iconoclasts be punished
severely as heretics. To rein in the extremists, Methodios was forced to
excommunicate and arrest some of the more persevering monks.
Methodios was indeed well-educated; engaged in both copying and writing of
manuscripts. His individual works included polemica, hagiographical and liturgical
works, sermons and poetry.
St. Joseph the Hymnographer
The most prolifc of the Greek hymn writers. A native of Sicily, he was forced to
leave his island in 830 in the wake of an invasion by the Arabs, journeying
to Thessalonica and then to Constantinople. He abandoned the Byzantine capital
in 841 to escape the severe Iconoclast persecution, but on his way to Rome he
was captured by pirates and held for several years in Crete as a slave. Finally
escaping, he returned toConstantinople and founded a monastery. For his ardent
defense of the icons, he was sent into exile in the Chersonese. Joseph is credited
with the composition of about one thousand canons. He should not be confused
with Joseph of Thessalonica, brother of Theodore of Studium.
June 14 is the *-4th day of the year (*--th in lea$ years) in the Gregorian calendar. .here
are 3?? days remaining until the end of the year.
• *+-- E .he Fatican announces the abolition of the Index Librorum
Prohibitorum (Ginde; of $rohibited boosG)" !hich !as originally instituted in *449.
.he Index Librorum Prohibitorum (English, 2ist of Hrohibited 'oos) !as a list of
$ublications deemed heretical" anti(clerical or lascivious" and therefore banned by
the Catholic Church.
I*J
% first version (the Pauline Index) !as $romulgated by Ho$e Haul IF in
*44+" !hich Haul K. Grendler believed mared Gthe turning($oint for the freedom of en=uiry in
the Catholic !orldG" and !hich lasted less than a year" being then re$laced by !hat !as
called the Tridentine Index (because authori>ed at the Council of .rent)" !hich rela;ed
as$ects of the Pauline Index that had been critici>ed and had $revented its acce$tance.
I*J
.he 3?th and final edition a$$eared in *+87" and the Index !as formally abolished on *8
5une *+-- by Ho$e Haul FI.
I3JI6JI8J
.he aim of the list !as to $rotect the faith and morals of the faithful by $reventing the reading
of heretical and immoral boos. 'oos thought to contain such errors included !ors by
astronomers such as 5ohannes )e$ler1s Epitome astronomiae Copernicanae" !hich !as on
the Inde; from *-3* to *764" and by $hiloso$hers" lie Immanuel )ant1s Critique of Pure
Reason. .he various editions of the Index also contained the rules of the Church relating to
the reading" selling and $re(em$tive censorshi$ of boosLeditions and translations of the
'ible that hadn1t been a$$roved by the Church could be banned.
I4J
Lectio:
#aturday" 5une *8" 3?*8
Ordinary Tie
1) O!ENIN" !#$%E#
God of !isdom and love"
source of all good"
send your #$irit to teach us your truth
and guide our actions
in your !ay of $eace.
We as this through our 2ord 5esus Christ" your #on"
!ho lives and reigns !ith you and the 0oly #$irit"
one God" for ever and ever. %men.
&) "OS!EL #E$'IN" ( )$TT*E+ ,,--(-.
5esus said to his disci$les, 1%gain" you have heard ho! it !as said to our ancestors"
Mou must not brea your oath" but must fulfil your oaths to the 2ord. 'ut I say this to
you" do not s!ear at all" either by heaven" since that is God1s throne: or by earth"
since that is his footstool: or by 5erusalem" since that is the city of the great )ing. @o
not s!ear by your o!n head either" since you cannot turn a single hair !hite or
blac. %ll you need say is GMesG if you mean yes" G<oG if you mean no: anything more
than this comes from the Evil Cne.1
-) #E/LECTION
N In todayOs Gos$el" 5esus rereads the commandment, P@o not commit $er/uryQ. %nd
here also he sur$asses the letter" concerning the s$irit of the la! and sees to
indicate the last ob/ective of this commandment, to attain total trans$arency in the
relationshi$ among $ersons. 0ere !e can a$$ly !hat !e said concerning the t!o
commandments P@o not illQ and P@o not commit adulteryQ. It is a =uestion of a ne!
!ay of inter$reting and setting into $ractice the la! of &oses" starting from the ne!
e;$erience of God KatherB&other !hich 5esus has brought to us. 0e rereads the la!
beginning !ith the intention !hich God had in $roclaiming it centuries ago on &ount
#inai.
N &atthe! 4" 66, It !as said to our ancestors, you must not s!ear. .he 2a! of the
Cld .estament said, P@o not commit $er/uryQ %nd it added that the $erson should
s!ear for the 2ord (cf. <b 3?" 3). In the $rayer of the Hsalms it is said that Pone can
go u$ to the &ountain of Mah!eh and reach the holy $lace" if he does not have
innocent hands and a $ure heart" and does not confide in idols" nor s!ears in order
to deceiveQ(Hs 38" 8). .he same thing is said in diverse other $oints of the Cld
.estament (Ecl 4" 6(8)" because one must be able to trust the !ords of others. In
order to favour this reci$rocal trust" tradition had invented the hel$ of the oath. In
order to strengthen oneOs o!n !ord" the $erson !ould s!ear for someone or for
something !hich !as greater than he and !ho could $unish him if he did not fulfil
!hat he had $romised. .hings continue to be lie this u$ to the $resent time.
Whether in the Church or in society" there are some moments and occasions !hich
demand a solemn oath on the $art of $ersons. In last instance" the oath is the
e;$ression of the conviction according to !hich nobody can trust com$letely the
!ord of the other.
N &atthe! 4" 68(6-, 'ut I say to you, do not s!ear. 5esus !ants to heal this
deficiency. It is not sufficient Pnot to s!earQ. 0e goes beyond and affirms, P'ut I say
to you, do not s!ear at all, either by heaven" since that is GodOs throne: or by earth"
since that is his footstool" or by 5erusalem" since that is the city of the great )ing. @o
not s!ear by your o!n head either" since you cannot turn a single hair !hite or
blac. %ll you need say is RMes if you mean yes" R<oO if you mean no: anything more
than this comes from the Evil CneQ.
.hey !ould s!ear for heaven and for earth" for the city of 5erusalem" for their o!n
head. 5esus sho!s that all that is medicine !hich does not cure the $ain and
suffering of the lac of trans$arency in the relationshi$ among $ersons. Which is the
solution !hich he $ro$osesS
N &atthe! 4" 69, 2et your s$eech be yes" yes: no" no. .he solution !hich God
$ro$oses is the follo!ing, 2et your s$eech be yes" yes: no" no: anything more than
this comes from the Evil CneQ. 0e $ro$oses a radical and total honesty. <othing
more. %nything more that you say comes from the Evil Cne. 0ere again" !e are
confronted !ith an ob/ective !hich !ill al!ays remain in our mind and !hich !e !ill
never succeed in fulfilling it com$letely. It is another e;$ression of the ne! ideal of
/ustice !hich 5esus $ro$oses, Pto be $erfect lie the 0eavenly Kather is $erfectQ (&t
4" 87). 5esus u$roots any attem$t to create in myself the conviction that I am saved
because I observe the la!. <obody can merit GodOs grace. 'ecause other!ise it
!ould not be a grace. We observe the 2a!" not in order to merit salvation" but in
order to than !ith all our heart" for the immense gratuitous goodness of God !ho
acce$ts us" and saves us !ithout any merit on our $art.
4) !E#SON$L 0UESTIONS
N 0o! do I observe the la!S
N 0ave I e;$erienced some time in my life the gratuitous goodness of GodS
,) CONCLU'IN" !#$%E#
I bless Mah!eh !ho is my counsellor"
even at night my heart instructs me.
I ee$ Mah!eh before me al!ays"
for !ith him at my right hand" nothing can shae me.
(Hs *-"9(7)
Jesus begins, as He has with the previous sections, by reminding His listeners of what they
already know. "You have heard that it was said to the men of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely,
but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn." he issue at hand here is one of integrity.
he !sraelites were commanded to be faithful to doing what they had sworn to do. "eople were
to be able to count on the oath you made.
#ut over time what had developed is a system of oaths that would enable people to look
trustworthy, but not to be held accountable to do what they had "promised" to do. $epending
on what you swore by, you were more or less obligated to do what you said you would. "eople
would swear by some lesser things, because they reasoned that if they broke their word, then
"at least they were not bringing %od&s name into disrepute."'he #ible #ackround
(ommentary, !)", p. *+, !t became a task of the rabbis to sort out and decide which of these
various oaths were completely binding.
Jesus, refers indirectly to !saiah --./ '"hus says the Lord. ‘Heaven is my throne and the
earth is my footstool&", to remind his listeners that all of creation belongs to %od. he idea
that there may be some parts of the world that %od has nothing to do with and so we can
swear by them without %od being involved is ridiculous. He goes on and warns against
swearing by one&s head, because "you cannot make one hair white or black." his statement
points out our powerlessness. 0e have no capacity by sheer willpower, to change the color of
our hair. 0hat business do we have swearing by our heads, then1
he original law, "You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have
sworn," was meant to reflect the faithfulness of %od. 2ighteousness, right relationship,
involves being one who is true to their promises. Jesus here is saying that integrity goes
deeper than that. !ntegrity does not re3uire a promise or an oath at all. he oath or promise
imply that there are times when our words cannot be counted on, so we have to add these
things to convince another that this time we will be bound by what we say we will do.
oday we do not have an elaborate system of ob4ects by which to swear. 0e will sometimes try
to sound more convincing with the words, "! promise" or "! swear" but that is often as far as it
goes. 5s children we may have tried at times to make a commitment less binding by crossing
our fingers behind our backs. #ut we still struggle with the idea of making our yes or no
suffice. ! think some of what is behind this is that we wish to appear as generous, open, and
fle6ible as we can while at the same time keeping a tight hold on what we actually end up
doing for others.
7ometimes we say "maybe" instead of "yes" or "no" because we think it makes us look more
open than we truly are. 8nfortunately this often forces the other person to remain suspended
in a position of indecision and ambiguity which stifles trust and even prevents cooperation and
fellowship. 5 maybe does not invite trust, confidence or partnership. 0hen we leave our own
options open through our own indecision on the chance that perhaps our maybe will change
into a yes, we can actually restrict the options open to others in response. 5voiding yes or no
is often not considerate or generous or even non9manipulative, but the opposite. 7ometimes
we blurt out a response to sound good or generous or fle6ible, without thinking through
whether we really intend to follow through or not. ! remember many years ago reali:ing that !
often told people ! would pray for them, then ! would forget to later on. ! knew that ! was
appearing far more pious and interested in others than in fact ! was.
o have your yes be yes and your no be no, means that there is no slippage between what you
say and what you do. You do not appear to be anything else than who you truly are. 0e affirm
our abilities, potentials, and moral priorities with our yes&s and admit our practical and moral
limitations with our no&s. ;ur word is an e6tension of our inward being. "eople are able to see
more clearly into who we are when our words and our actions always correspond as we trust
in (hrist to share with us the by the 7pirit His very righteousness.
;ur word and actions then become little signs, pointers to the integrity which is %od&s. he
reason that letting your yes be yes and your no be no is part of the righteousness that
e6ceeds that of the scribes and "harisees is because %od Himself has no slippage between He
words to us and His actions. 0e can completely count on %od&s word to be backed up by his
action. He does not need to "swear" in order to convince us that in this instance He is serious.
0e can always count on Him, we do not need to work our lives around only having vague
hopes that He might come through, afraid to find out that He won&t. !n Jesus %od&s word is not
yes and no, or even maybe.
Jesus reveals to us the true heart of %od and we can trust that %od will always be faithful to
Himself and therefore to us. He will, as "aul says at the beginning of "hilippians, bring to
completion the good work that He began in us. %od does not vacilliate in His love for us or in
His word to us. "aul, in his second letter to the (orinthian church says this. <or the 7on of
%od, Jesus (hrist, whom we preached among you, ... was not Yes and =o> but in him it is
always Yes. <or all the promises of %od find their Yes in him." Jesus is %od&s word, %od&s Yes to
us? How wonderful to know that He is faithful and can be trusted always to be true to Himself.