Elijah will come again.
A reading from the Book of Sirach (Sirach 48:1-4.9-11b)
In those days: Then the prophet Elijah arose like a fire, and his word burned like a torch. He brought a famine upon them, and by his zeal he made them few in number. By the word of the Lord he shut up the heavens, and also three times brought down fire. How glorious you were, O Elijah, in your wondrous deeds! And who has the right to boast which you have? You who were taken up by a whirlwind of fire, in a chariot with horses of fire; you who are ready at the appointed time, it is written, to calm the wrath of God before it breaks out in fury, to turn the heart of the father to the son, and to restore the tribes of Jacob. Blessed are those who saw you, and those who have fallen asleep in your love.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 80:2ac and 3b.15- 16a.18-19 (R. 4)
R/. O God, bring us back; let your face shine on us, and we shall be saved.
O shepherd of Israel, hear us,
enthroned on the cherubim, shine forth.
Rouse up your might and come to save us. R.
God of hosts, turn again, we implore;
look down from heaven and see.
Visit this vine and protect it,
the vine your right hand has planted. R.
May your hand be on the man at your right hand,
the son of man you have confirmed as your own.
And we shall never forsake you again;
give us life that we may call upon your name. R.
ALLELUIA Luke 3:4.6
Alleluia. Alleluia. Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight; all flesh shall see the salvation of God. Alleluia.
Elijah has already come and they did not know him.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 17:10-13)
As they were coming down the mountain, the disciples asked Jesus, “Then why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” He replied, “Elijah does come, and he is to restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not know him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of man will suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.
The Gospel of the Lord.
More than ever before, our world is in continuous search for signs and proofs before believing fundamental truths. It is possible that the disciples also wanted to find out reasons to believe that Jesus is the Christ. But after their experience at the Mount of Transfiguration, they must have gotten the shocker. While they were still waiting for a mysterious appearance of Elijah, Jesus informed them that Elijah had already come. Unfortunately, they didn’t know because they were looking out for a more complex event of his coming. That is a warning to those who keep looking out for complex realities before they can believe God and live lives of godly values. Those little experiences around us keep telling us of the presence of God and the need to prepare for him. Let us pay attention to them and take heed that we may rejoice at his great appearing. Peace be with you.