Second Week of Advent: Saturday
Reading: Matthew 17:10-13
As they came down from the mountain the disciples put this question to Jesus, ‘Why do the scribes say that Elijah has to come first?’ ‘True,’ he replied, ‘Elijah is to come to see that everything is once more as it should be; however, I tell you that Elijah has come already and they did not recognise him but treated him as they pleased; and the Son of Man will suffer similarly at their hands.’ The disciples understood then that he had been speaking about John the Baptist.
Reflection Jesus confirms for the disciples that John the Baptist has come to prepare the way for him. His message was rejected when he challenged Herod for immoral living and he pays the price with his life. Undeterred in his mission, Jesus always points the way to this father and asks the people to live by the new moral code of the gospel. He is aware that like John, his message will be rejected and cost him his life. He is not put off but is ever faithful to what is asked of him by his father.
As baptised followers of this new way, we too are asked to be brave and faithful in our commitment to gospel values. Like John, we will be asked to bear witness in our homes, communities and workplaces to the truth of the gospel. We cannot water down the message that has cost our saviour his life. We will not be standing alone and even if one day our head appears on a dish, we will not have laid down our lives in vain. He who has gone before us will be there to welcome us to the great banquet of love.