Our Advent journey is an immersion into the spirit of hope which was a significant facet of the spirituality of the people of Israel. This hope was especially embodied in the prophetic tradition, which is well represented in the readings for this season.
Elijah, who is mentioned in both readings today, stands out as one of the most dramatic of the significant prophetic figures in the history of the Chosen People. Sirach tells us that his words were likened to ’a flaming furnace,’ capturing well Elijah’s passion for the honor of Yahweh and praising him as a courageous opponent of the wayward behavior of certain kings of Israel and those aligned with them.
The Gospel reading tells of Jesus coming down from the Mount of Transfiguration (showing Jesus, Moses, and Elijah), declaring that John the Baptist fulfilled the role of Elijah in preparing the way for the Lord’s coming.
We are given these two significant prophetic figures, Elijah and John, to help focus our hearts and minds for our own engagement with God’s wondrous desire for his people, marvelously portrayed in the Advent readings. There is no doubt that the two of them shared a common commitment to further God’s salvific plan, whatever the consequences, and with a total disinterest in burnishing their own roles in that plan. They both call us to reform and renewal.
We, too, have a role to play in the realization of God’s unfolding desire for his people, and we find inspiration and courage, and indeed determination to do our part through our daily participation in the community’s Advent journey. Elijah and John walk this journey with us.
Let Us Pray:
Lord, help us learn from Elijah and John the Baptist to be ambassadors of hope to our world.
Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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