A reading from the Book of the Prophet Malachi (Malachi 3:1-4;4:5-6)
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the day of the Lord comes.
Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I send my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner fire and like fullers soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, till they present right offerings to the Lord. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years. “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a curse.”
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM (Psalm 25 :4-5ab.5-9.10 and 14(R. see Luke 21 :28)
R/. Look up and raise your heads,
because your redemption is drawing near.
O Lord, make me know your ways.
Teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth, and teach me;
for you are the God of my salvation. R/.
Good and upright is the Lord;
he shows the way to sinners.
He guides the humble in right
judgement; to the humble he teaches his way. R/.
All the Lord’s paths are mercy and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and commands.
The Lord’s secret is for those who fear him;
to them he reveals his covenant. R/.
Alleluia. Alleluia. Come, O King of the nations and cornerstone of the Church!
Come and save man, whom you formed from the clay of the earth.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke l:57-66)
The birth of John the Baptist.
The time came for Elizabeth to be delivered, and she gave birth to a son. And her neighbours and kins folk heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they would have named him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said, “Not so; he shall be called John.” And they said to her, “None of your kindred is called by this name.” And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he would have him called. And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all marvelled. And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. And fear came on all their neighbours. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea; and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For the hand of the Lord was with him.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Our reflection today is based on preparation; preparation is a very important part of our life. Due to human imperfection we need to sincerely and devotedly prepare for anything we think worthwhile. We prepare for exams and interviews. We prepare for sports and competitions of all sorts. We prepare the food we eat and we prepare for meetings and seminars. In the same manner John the Baptist came to prepare the way for the Lord. On our part, we are called upon to get prepared for the Lord by turning away from sin and embracing goodness.
Lord, give us the strength, courage and perseverance to purify our thoughts, words and actions in preparation for the coming for your coming as our Saviour and lord.