< <  

Saturday, December 11, 2010

  > >

Pope St. Damasus I

Sirach 48:1-4, 9-11
Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19
Matthew 17:9, 10-13

View Readings
Similar Reflections

santa or elijah?

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

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:

  1. a call to repentance similar to that of John the Baptizer, who was a new Elijah (Mt 17:12-13),
  2. a call to restore everything (Mt 17:11),
  3. a special call to restore parent-child relationships (Sir 48:10), and
  4. 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.

Prayer:  Father, may I ignore Santa's sleigh and focus on Elijah's fiery chariot (Sir 48:9).

Promise:  "By God's word he shut up the heavens and three times brought down fire." —Sir 48:3

Praise:  Pope St. Damasus I fought against an antipope and encouraged Jerome's Latin Bible translation. He zealously promoted veneration of martyrs so all Christians would be encouraged to lay down their lives for Jesus (see Acts 21:13).

Reference:  (The Lord is calling you to greater holiness. How will you reply? Let us help. Call 513-373-2397 or 937-587-5464 for details.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 28, 2010

The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.