Scripture: 1st Reading: Ecclesiasticus48,1-4,9-12; Resp. Psalm: Ps79,2-3,15-16,18-19; Gosp. Accl.: Lk3,4,6; Gospel: Mt17,10-13
Sometimes people look for the right things in the wrong places. We look for happiness in the wrong places, the wrong people. We seek for peace in the wrong things. We become dissatisfied with life because of the wrong choices we make.
The First Reading mentions the indispensable and pivotal roles that John the Baptist was called to accomplish in the history of Israel and the salvific plans of God for His people. He was to act in the power and might of the prophet Elijah. Today's first reading describes the exploits of this great prophet.
Elijah rose like a fire; his words were like flaming torch; brought famine down; shut up the heavens with the consequence that there was no rain; was taken up in the whirlwind of fire. He was to turn the hearts of fathers to their children and restore the tribes of Jacob. Such was the fundamental role this prophet was called to play in the history of God's people.
The way of the Messiah was to be prepared by Elijah who was to come again. This was not to say that Elijah would reincarnate in the person but that the power of Yahweh that was manifest in Elijah's life that made him do marvels for God would be present in the life of the new Elijah. He would be such a great influence that he would turn the hearts of the people back to their God.
John the Baptist was this new Elijah. Our Lord testified about him that he had already come but the people did not recognize him. Instead, they treated him as they pleased. Our Lord predicted that He would suffer similar fate in their hands.
John the Baptist recognized his destiny. He followed this to the end. Our Lord recognized and accepted the roles His Father had for Him. He followed this till the end. Though the people did not recognize Him, this did not deter Him from fulfilling what His Father had in store for Him.
This Advent is a time to recognize the work of salvation that He achieved for us. It calls us to a rethink of our response to Him. These days of Advent provide us the opportunity to do this.
Let us pray: "May the splendour of your glory dawn in our hearts, we pray, almighty God, that all shadows of the night may be scattered and we may be shown to be children of light by the advent of your Only Begotten Son." Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.