“The tiny whispering voice says its time for your successor. Elijah, you're fired. Why is he being fired? Could have something to do with that extraordinary violence he showed after the beautiful prophetic manifestation on Mt. Carmel?”
There are a few considerations here, first, relating to the difficulty Barron has with this story, and second, to his exegesis of 1 Kings.
Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt offering, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God.” And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape.” And they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and killed them there. (1 Kings 18:38-40).
Why might modern Catholics be unaware of this story? Those familiar with the imperfections of the new Lectionary can probably guess. The story of Elijah and the prophets is read over two daily Masses in Week 10 of Ordinary Time in Year B in the Lectionary, on a Wednesday and Thursday. The Wednesday reading omits this episode, choosing to end the story in verse 39 where the people say "The Lord, he is God!" The Thursday reading picks up with verse 41, "And Elijah said to Ahab, etc." You will notice that verse 40 is omitted. What is verse 40? Verse 40 says, "And Elijah said to them, 'Seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape.' And they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and killed them there." When the narrative picks up on Thursday, it begins on verse 41. The daily Mass goer in the Novus Ordo will never ever hear 1 Kings 18:40. You can view this deliberate omission for yourself in the Lectionary index here, but if you don't want to scroll all the way down, just take a look at the relevant entries (click to enlarge):
2. Barron's Faulty Exegesis
"I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the people of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thy altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”
The Lord responds by manifesting various natural phenomenon to Elijah as expressions of His power:
And he said, “Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. (v. 11-13)
First, the voice asks him again, "What are you doing here Elijah?" We may presume the repetition of the question is an invitation for Elijah to reflect deeper upon his pilgrimage here. Again, Elijah responds, "I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the people of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thy altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away." (v. 14)
“Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria; and Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place." (v. 15-16)
Elijah is asked to anoint three men: Hazael, as King of Syria (to replace Benhadad, mentioned elsewhere in 1 Kings); Jehu, to replace Ahab; and Elisha, to replace himself as prophet. Does this passage constitute a "firing" of Elijah?
It could conceivably be construed as such, because Jehu was being anointed to replace Ahab, who was wicked and being "fired" by God from being Israel's king. The status of Benhadad, who was replaced by Hazael, is more ambiguous; he was an ally of King Asa of Judah, to whom Asa had paid tribute to out of the temple treasures in order to make an alliance against Ahab (cf. 1 Kings 15). Though the Bible does not say so, we may presume this aroused the anger of God against Benhadad, prompting his "firing" and replacement by Hazael. Given this, we can understand why Barron might assume Elijah, too, is being "fired" and "replaced."
"And him who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay; and him who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” (19:17-18)
God literally says the reason he wants Hazael, Jehu, and Elisha to be anointed is so they can continue to slaughter the partisans of Baal. He even says He has reserved seven thousand men in Israel who, presumably, will aid Elisha and these kings in this.
It is therefore ridiculous to suggest that God is replacing Elijah because of the killing of Baal worshipers when the men God is replacing him with are being commanded by God to continue killing Baal worshipers. Bishop Barron's analysis thus completely ignores verses 17 and 18. Perhaps Bishop Barron does not know about verses 17 and 18? This would not be surprising as...you guessed it...1 Kings 19:18-17 is also omitted from the Lectionary in the Novus Ordo: