Saturday, December 13, 2014

Advent Reflection: Matthew 17:9a, 10-13

Matthew 17:9a, 10-13 – Second Week of Advent

Elijah, the prophet, is the central character in today’s first reading as well as in the Gospel. The reading from the Book of Sirach describes Elijah as a man who was bigger than life. He would be a great character for an adventure movie. The reading from Sirach also says that Elijah’s words “flamed like a furnace.” What a powerful image! He also brought down fire to the earth and did many other astonishing deeds.

Today the scribes are doing what they normally do: they were teaching in the temple. On that day they were preaching about Elijah, the prophet, and they were predicting that one day Elijah would return to the earth.

Jesus’ disciples did not understand this prophecy. They asked Him if Elijah would return to earth in the future. Jesus told them that yes, Elijah would return. However, Jesus continues by saying that Elijah already had come to the earth. However, no one recognized him. Elijah was rejected by the people!

In speaking of Elijah, Jesus is predicting His own death. He is preparing his disciples for what will come. Jesus tells them “the Son of Man will suffer.” However, the disciples assume that Jesus is talking about John the Baptist. As usual, Jesus’ disciples did not understand.

At times, we also do not understand what Jesus is saying to us. At times, it may be difficult for us to hear Jesus’ voice. The busyness and noise in our lives can make us deaf to what Jesus may be saying to us. Today may we open our ears, our minds and our hearts! May we listen attentively for Jesus’ voice! Jesus will speak. Will we listen? Today, may we listen with the “ear of our heart.”

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