December 10, 2016
Sat of 2nd Week of Advent
Sirach 48:1-4, 9-11; Ps 80; Matthew 17:9a, 10-13
The first reading this morning speaks of the prophet Elijah. Who was Elijah? He was a very important figure in salvation history, a major prophet with fiery words who told it like it was no matter the consequences. He was a powerful man of God who at his death was taken up to heaven in a fiery chariot. The scripture this morning said, “How awesome are you Elijah in your wondrous deeds!”...But the key verse in the first reading this morning about Elijah that ties to the Gospel and to the Advent Season is, “You were destined, it is written, in time to come to put an end to wrath before the day of the Lord.” The scriptures foretold that Elijah would return before the day of the Lord. And he did as we see in today’s Gospel.
The disciples knew the scriptures and the teachings that Elijah would return but they needed more clarification as they ask Jesus, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” Jesus tells them, “I tell you that Elijah has already come and they did not recognize him.” Jesus is saying that Elijah returned in John the Baptist who had the same spirit as Elijah. John, like Elijah, was a powerful prophet of God, with fiery words who told it like it was no mater the consequences.
So the message for us today is that during this Advent Season, even though we have heard these scripture passages over and over every year, even though we seem to know them very well, we like the disciples should seek and ask for further clarification. We should seek a more clearer understanding to their deep meaning and apply them to our lives. This Advent let us go deeper into the meaning of what it means to prepare for the coming of Christ by asking the Spirit of God to help us understand. Then we too will be powerful disciples of Christ, prophets with words of fire, with the same spirit as Elijah and John the Baptist not afraid to speak out for the Kingdom of God.