12th December 2020

Saturday, Second Week of Advent;

Sir 48:1-4,9-11;   Ps 80:2-3,15-16,18-19;   Mt 17:10-13


The first reading from Sirach is a tribute to the prophet Elijah, to his powerful preaching of God’s message through word and action; “he arose like a fire, his word flaming like a torch.” In fact, we encounter Elijah suddenly, in chapter 17 of the first book of the Kings, as a bold and courageous prophet who challenged King Ahab, reprimanding him for his ungodly ways, and proving to him and to the whole of Israel that the God of Israel is the one true God. Later, we see him being taken up to heaven in a fiery chariot, and thereon, it was believed that he would return to announce the coming of Messiah.

In the Gospel passage of today, Jesus agrees that in the person of John the Baptist, Elijah did come; but he was rejected, just as the Messiah he came to prepare the way for, was rejected after him. All the three personalities we encounter today in the liturgy of the word, Elijah, John the Baptist and Jesus, were rejected, because their words caused disturbance to many, especially those in power, exhorting them to leave their comfort zones, something that they refused to do.

What about us? The Word of God invites us today for a change of lifestyle; to be more loving, more tolerant, more approachable, more kind, more compassionate, more available, more humble, more open, more adjusting, more encouraging and appreciating and welcoming.

As we prepare for the feast of Christmas and for the second coming of Jesus, let the call of Christ touch our conscience today, as we ask ourselves: Do I find it hard to come out of my comfort zone to welcome Jesus, in the way he wishes and in the people he chooses? Where does he want me to look for his manger today? In whom will he be waiting for me to bring my gift of a loving and generous heart?

Responsorial Psalm: O God, bring us back; let your face shine on us, and we shall be saved.

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