The Mantle Passes

In the first reading today we witness the passing of the mantle (אַדֶּרֶת addreth in Hebrew) from Elijah to Elisha. What is a mantle? Although there are variations of the meaning of mantle in the Bible, the main idea is that of a covering such as a cloak or covering as outerwear appearing in the OT (e.g. Joshua 7:21) and NT (e.g. Hebrews 1:12, in the Greek). In biblical times, a mantle was typically a large, loosely fitting garment made of animal skin, probably sheepskin. Several people are mentioned as wearing a mantle, including Job (Job 1:20) and Ezra (Ezra 9:5). The mantle served the practical purpose of keeping people warm and protecting them from the elements. It also served a symbolic purpose, in the case of the prophets, showing they were wrapped in God’s authority – a sign of their calling from God (1 Kings 19:13). Continue reading

A lesson of mission forgotten?

This coming Sunday the Church celebrates The Solemnity of Corpus Christi. In yesterday’s post we catch a glimpse of a moment of respite for the apostles after their mission that gives way to crowds of people

12 As the day was drawing to a close, the Twelve approached him and said, ‘Dismiss the crowd so that they can go to the surrounding villages and farms and find lodging and provisions; for we are in a deserted place here.’ 13 He said to them, ‘Give them some food yourselves.’ They replied, ‘Five loaves and two fish are all we have, unless we ourselves go and buy food for all these people.’ 14 Now the men there numbered about five thousand.

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