God provides for Elijah and a hungry widow - Catholic Courier

God provides for Elijah and a hungry widow

God provides for Elijah and a hungry widow
Bible Accent: Foods from the Old Testament
Saint for Today: St. Benen

God provides for Elijah and a hungry widow

The Lord said to Elijah, “Leave here, go east and hide in the Wadi Cherith, east of the Jordan. You shall drink of the stream, and I have commanded ravens to feed you there.”
Elijah obeyed the Lord, and the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and the evening.
Eventually the stream ran dry, because there had been a drought. Then the Lord said to Elijah, “Move on to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have designated a widow there to provide for you.”
Again Elijah obeyed the Lord. When he entered the city, he met a widow gathering sticks. “Please bring me a small cupful of water to drink,” he said to her. The woman nodded and went to fetch the water, Elijah added, “Please bring along a bit of bread.”
The woman shook her head and said, “As the Lord, your God, lives I have nothing baked; there is only a handful of flour in my jar and a little oil in my jug. Just now I was collecting a couple of sticks to go in and prepare something for myself and my son; when we have eaten it, we shall die.”
Elijah looked at her and said, “Do not be afraid. Go and do as you propose. But first make me a little cake and bring it to me. Then you can prepare something for yourself and your son.”
The woman looked into Elijah’s eyes. There had been a drought. She had enough food for one last small meal with her son. Sensing her feelings, Elijah said, “For the Lord, the God of Israel, says, ‘The jar of flour shall not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry, until the day when the Lord sends rain upon the earth.’”
The woman hurried back to her home to do what Elijah had requested. Because she obeyed the Lord, as Elijah promised, her jar of flour and her jug of oil remained full, no matter how much she used to prepare her meals, for a year, until the rains came and ended the drought. But then her son became very sick and he died. “Why have you done this to me?” the widow asked Elijah. Elijah took the boy and laid him on a bed. “O Lord,” he said, “my God, will you afflict even the widow with whom I am staying by killing her son?”
The Lord heard Elijah and restored the boy’s life.
1 Kings 17
1. How did Elijah get bread and meat?
2. How did God bless the widow for feeding Elijah?

Bible Accent: Foods from the Old Testament

During the times of the Old Testament, there were no such things as grocery stores, so food had to be grown or bought or traded for with a neighbor or merchant. Food from plants was much more available and affordable for the average family. Most people ate apples, figs, olives, nuts, seeds and grains. Meat and fish were only occasionally on the menu, although the wealthy families could afford to eat them more often. Although this may sound like a very lean selection of foods, the variety of plant foods provided many of the important nutrients necessary for a healthy body.
Like our Biblical ancestors, we should strive to maintain a healthy diet, and always pray that God gives us “our daily bread.” Let us also remember the people who may not have enough to eat.

Saint for Today: St. Benen

The family of Benen (d. 467) was visited by St. Patrick, who was traveling through the area. Patrick’s preaching convinced Benen’s parents to convert to Christianity. Benen was so impressed by the saint that he begged to be able to accompany him on his journeys and be one of his assistants. Patrick agreed, and Benen earned a reputation for being a gentle man with a kind heart. Because he also had a pleasant singing voice, he was sometimes called “Patrick’s psalmodist.” When Patrick founded a church in Drumlease, Benen became its leader for 20 years. Upon Patrick’s death, Benen became the chief bishop of the Irish church. We remember him on Nov. 9.



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