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Saturday, December 15, 2001

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Sirach 48:1-4, 9-11
Psalm 80
Matthew 17:10-13

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the prelude to glory

"How awesome are you, Elijah! Whose glory is equal to yours?" —Sirach 48:4

The ministry of Elijah preceded the coming of Jesus at His Incarnation, is preceding Christ's coming this Christmastime, and will precede His final coming at the end of the world. Elijah's ministry is to reestablish God's people (Sir 48:10) and to restore all things (Mt 17:11). Consequently, at this time before Christ's Christmas coming, the following three prophecies of Isaiah are being fulfilled by new Elijahs:

  1. "Build up, build up, prepare the way, remove the stumbling blocks from My people's path" (Is 57:14).
  2. "The ancient ruins shall be rebuilt for your sake, and the foundations from ages past you shall raise up; 'Repairer of the breach,' they shall call you, 'Restorer of ruined homesteads' " (Is 58:12).
  3. "They shall rebuild the ancient ruins, the former wastes they shall raise up and restore the ruined cities, desolate now for generations" (Is 61:4).

This is a time of hope and joy. New Elijahs are coming to do the miraculous. Then Jesus will come to do the divine. We are being overwhelmed with God's blessings (see Dt 28:2) and amazed by His grace. The Lord is doing more than we can ever ask for or imagine (Eph 3:20). "Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it so much as dawned on man what God has prepared for those who love Him" (1 Cor 2:9). "Despite the increase of sin, grace has far surpassed it" (Rm 5:20). "Rejoice in the Lord" (Phil 4:4). Elijah is coming.

Prayer:  Father, may I "rejoice with inexpressible joy touched with glory" (1 Pt 1:8).

Promise:  "Till like a fire there appeared the prophet whose words were as a flaming furnace." —Sir 48:1

Praise:  James came to the Lord during Advent and went home to Him before Christmas.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, May 30, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 4, 2001