Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview

Catholic Activity: Jesse Tree, Day 17a — Elijah (or Elias)



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Symbols: Raven, Fire and altar

Then the LORD said: Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD; the LORD will pass by. There was a strong and violent wind rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the LORD—but the LORD was not in the wind; after the wind, an earthquake—but the LORD was not in the earthquake; after the earthquake, fire—but the LORD was not in the fire; after the fire, a light silent sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave (1 Kings 19:11-13a).

Elijah was the "father" of the prophets of the Old Testament and considered a major prophet. He lived in the 9th century B.C. in the northern Kingdom of Israel. He fought against the different religious cults against God, particularly that of Baal, and goes against the wrongdoings of King Ahab and his wife Jezebel.

There are many different stories of Ezekiel's work within the books of 1 and 2 Kings. Highlighted in the readings are the feeding of Elijah by the raven, the feeding of the widow and her son with the unending flour and oil and the raising of the dead of the widow's son, the contest with the priests of Baal on Mount Carmel, the flight to Horeb and Elijah's final journey. His main work was stressing the Lord being God and utterly powerful, and urging the Israelites to be faithful to the Law of Moses and the covenant with God. At the end of his life he departs mysteriously, which gave the idea that he was to return at some time.

Jesus was often mistakenly identified as Elijah. Moses and Elijah who appeared with Christ at the Transfiguration, with Elijah representing the prophets (Matthew 17:3). To this day at the Jewish Passover the door is opened to welcome his possible return, and a cup of wine is poured and reserved for him.


Recommended Scripture Readings:

  • 1 Kings 17:2-6
  • 1 Kings 17:9-24
  • 1 Kings 17-18:21-39
  • 1 Kings 18
  • 1 Kings 19:11-13
  • 2 Kings 2:1, 8-14
  • Matthew 17:1-13

Selections from The Catechism of the Catholic Church:

  • CCC 523 St. John the Baptist
  • CCC 554-558 Jesus' Ascent to Jerusalem
  • CCC 697 Cloud and Light
  • CCC 2581-2584 Elijah, the prophets and conversion of heart

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Printable PDF Jesse Tree guide: The Jesse Tree: Advent 2022

Activity Source: Original Text (JGM) by Jennifer Gregory Miller, © Copyright 2003-2023 by Jennifer Gregory Miller