Reading of Ben Sira the Wise’s book (Si 48, 1-14)

The prophet Elijah arises like a fire,
his word burned like a torch.
He brought famine on Israel,
and, in his ardor, reduced them to a small number.
By the word of the Lord he held back the waters of heaven,
and three times he brought down the fire.
How fearsome you were, Elijah, in your wonders!
Who could pride themselves on being your equal?
You who woke up a dead man
and, by the word of the Most High, brought him back from the grave;
you who precipitated kings towards their loss,
and cast down from their beds glorious figures;
you who heard reproaches at Sinai,
at Mount Horeb, decrees of punishment;
you who anointed kings to exercise vengeance,
and prophets to take over from you;
you who was kidnapped in a whirlwind of fire
by a chariot to the fire couriers;
you who was prepared for the end of time,
as it is written,
to appease anger before it explodes,
to bring the fathers’ hearts back to the sons
and restore the tribes of Jacob …
happy those who will see you,
happy those who, in love, have fallen asleep;
we too will have real life.
When Elijah was enveloped in the whirlwind,
Elisha was filled with his spirit,
and throughout his life no prince has intimidated him,
no one was able to make him bow.
Nothing resisted him,
and, even in the grave,
his body manifested his prophetic power.
During his life he performed wonders;
after his death, wonderful works.