More from the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel reading today. Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.” Jesus is the fulfillment of the law…the law of love. He shows us not how to ignore the commandments, but how to obey and live them out.
In our first reading today from 1 Kings 18, we read about a contest of sorts. Elijah says that he is the only surviving prophet of the Lord. But there are four hundred and fifty prophets of the false god Baal. To show the people which is the true God, Elijah poses a challenge. He has the prophets of Baal build an altar and prepare a sacrifice. They were to command Baal to start the fire for the offering. Then…crickets. No fire. The Scripture tells us, “But there was not a sound; no one answered, and no one was listening.” Elijah made sport of them, mocking and ribbing them. When Elijah calls down fire from God, He listens, and answers. Be sure to read this great story.
Baal could not win this challenge because Baal is not real. But the one true God is. God will always be victorious because He is the one true God. Baal or Asherah or Osiris or Zeus or (fill in the blank) don't stand a chance. And God will be victorious over the many false gods present today. These may not have proper nouns as names, but they exist - lust, greed, envy, power, money, politics. The list goes on. Don't fall for their empty message. Believe the Gospel. Put all your trust in the one true God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Father, forgive us when we allow false gods into our lives. We surrender to you and celebrate your victory over them in Jesus' name. Amen.