18 June Luc Forestier (20.06.2018)
For these essential verses of prophetic transmission, several interpretations coexist without contradiction. Historical elements are necessary not only to measure the narrative framework that is made, but also to try to understand the issues of the editors and readers that we are. Now, an old text, tirelessly transmitted and meditated until today by the people of Israel, is proclaimed at the heart of the Christian gathering, in order to be assimilated by those who share the word made flesh in Jesus Christ.
Many elements nevertheless come to the common sense and force them to go beyond this historical interpretation, to enter into the very gesture that is proposed. The biblical text is never separable from the relationship that justifies its existence. We do not believe in God because we read the Bible. We receive the Bible as the word of God because we participate in the assembly constituted by the Lord's Supper.
So there is a abyme, as on the boxes of certain melted cheese, made from happy cows, endowed with earrings!
The gesture of transmission of Elijah to Elisha, this mantle that descends from above and serves only to open the waters of the Jordan, does not designate only a historical event, otherwise inaccessible. It is not only a literary content that joins the joy of Reading and communion, at a distance, between authors and readers. The gesture deploys exactly what the liturgy implements, that is, the transmission of a word that takes the form of a garment to cover the nudity of our existences, which also takes the form of a tool to open what seems closed. It is only within the liturgical life of Israel and the church that we experience what the narrative proposes.
Yet, in order to receive the mantle and the instrument of the word, there is a decisive condition which discreetly indicates the repetition of Elisha's gesture which, on two occasions, strikes the waters. A burning question must dwell on us, "Where is your God?" To remain only to the outward gesture will not produce anything without this inner fire which is the work of the spirit.
Luke Forester, priest of the Oratory in Paris