When Elisha was in Shunem, he met a woman who invited him to have dinner with her family. From that time on, Elisha would stop to visit his friends whenever he was in Shunem. After Elisha had gone home, the woman said to her husband, “I know that he is a holy man of God. Since he visits us often, let us arrange a little room … so that when he comes to us he can stay there.”
The next time Elisha was in Shunem, he stayed in the room the woman had prepared for him. Elisha wanted to repay her kindness, so he sent his servant Gehazi with a message for her.
He told Gehazi, “Say to her, ‘You have lavished all this care on us; what can we do for you? Can we say a good word for you to the king or the commander of the army?’”
The woman was thankful for the offer, but she answered, “I am living among my own people.”
When Gehazi told Elisha what had happened, Elisha asked, “Can something be done for her?” He wanted to help her in some way.
“Yes!” said Gehazi. “She has no son, and her husband is getting on in years.”
Elisha was very happy now. “Call her,” he said. Gehazi left and brought the woman back to see Elisha. Then he smiled and said, “This time next year you will be fondling a baby son.”
But the woman did not react the way Elisha thought she would. “Please, my lord,” she said, “… do not deceive your servant.” But Elisha reassured her he was not teasing her, and within a year, she had a newborn son.
After the boy had grown old enough to help his father in the fields, the woman went to find Elisha. She found him in Mount Carmel and she told him the boy had died. When Elisha went to the woman’s house, he saw the boy. He prayed and laid his hands on the boy’s hands. The boy sneezed and opened his eyes. “Take your son,” said Elisha to the woman.
READ MORE ABOUT IT: 2 Kings 4
1. What did the woman do for Elisha?
2. What did Gehazi tell Elisha the woman wanted?
In 1947, a young boy named Mohammed who lived in the valley region near the Dead Sea was watching his family’s goats. He found a series of caves and went inside. He found clay jars that contained scrolls wrapped in cloth that had been sealed with pitch to preserve the contents. Mohammed sold the scrolls for a small amount of money. When archaeologists came to the region, they searched the caves and found hundreds of scrolls and other manuscripts. The scrolls were written in Hebrew and Aramaic and were handmade copies of all of the books of the Old Testament except Esther. The manuscripts had probably been hidden to protect them when the Roman army began invading the area. Now known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, this was one of the most important Biblical archaeology discoveries of the 20th century.
Albert Chmielowkski (1845-1916) was born in southern Poland. When he was 18, he and other Polish people didn’t like the fact that their country was being occupied by Russia. He joined a fight for Poland’s freedom from Russia, which failed. Albert was captured during the fighting and was imprisoned. His left leg was injured, and it had to be removed.
When he was able to return home, he worked as a professional artist before he joined the Society of Jesus. The lifestyle was too difficult for him, so he left the Jesuit community. He continued to work as a religious, now as a member of the Third Order of Franciscans. He tried to help people who were poor or homeless. Later he founded a house to help people in need, and his followers were known as Albertine Brothers and Albertine Sisters.
A play about Albert’s life was written by a young man who later became Pope John Paul II, the pope who also beatified and canonized him. We honor Albert on June 17.