Before Christ comes this Christmas, Elijah will come this Advent, but we may not recognize him (Mt 17:12). To recognize Elijah, we should look for:
- a call to repentance similar to that of John the Baptizer, who was a new Elijah (Mt 17:12-13),
- a call to restore everything (Mt 17:11),
- a special call to restore parent-child relationships (Sir 48:10), and
- a special call "to re-establish the tribes of Jacob" (Sir 48:10), that is, to renew the Church.
When Elijah speaks God's word, a purifying fire comes down (Sir 48:1, 3) and burns within us (see Lk 24:32). If we refuse to be purified, we will reject Elijah, do with him as we please (Mt 17:12), and make him suffer for disturbing us in our sinfulness. If we accept Elijah, we will have to humble ourselves by confessing our sins, forgiving others, asking others' forgiveness, and changing our lives. If we accept Elijah, we will be forgiven, freed, purified, reconciled, restored, and renewed. If we accept Elijah, we will accept Jesus when He comes this Christmas season.
Reject pride, selfishness, and sin. Accept humility, Elijah, Christ, and Christmas.
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from December 1, 2010 through January 31, 2011.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 28, 2010.