Friday, December 10, 2010

IS JOHN THE BAPTIST ELIJAH? DECEMBER 11th – SATURDAY (Mt 17: 9-13)


The Jews believed that Elijah would return as forerunner of the Messianic age (Mal 4:5; Lk 1:17) There was a debate in the early Church around the question. If Jesus is the Messiah why has Elijah not come?

· Jesus is here represented as saying that Elijah has come, not in reincarnation, but in striking likeness of the flesh and in verity of the spirit.

· John dressed like Elijah, lived in the desert as Elijah had lived, and defied Herod and Herodias as Elijah has defied Ahab and Elijah.

Why did Elijah not restore all things according to promise? Why had the golden age not come?

Men did not see in John the prophet of God, and in heedlessness they slew him. Mankind has a certain freedom, and darkly abuses it. The golden age cannot be forced upon them, for then it would not be fold but only a gilded coercion. The golden age comes only through golden souls. Elijah awakens and Christ renews; Elijah arouses penitence and Christ forgives if the people see and believe but they will not see.

All of us do have expectations and when the expectation is not fulfilled we are disappointed. It is good to have expectations but we should not expect things to happen in the exact way we expect. We should be ready to expect the unexpected. People of Israel rightly expected the Messiah and the forerunner but the way they expected the coming of these two was not the way God intended. This happens to all of us even today. There is nothing wrong to have expectations but to expect something in the way we want may lead to discouragement and disappointed.

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