See, I am sending 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—indeed, 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’s fire and like fullers’ soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness.
Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years. They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, my special possession on the day when I act, and I will spare them as parents spare their children who serve them. Then once more you shall see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Who is that messenger preparing the way of the Lord in today’s first reading from the prophet Malachi? Who is that new Elijah who will “turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers”? The Christ whose coming we anticipate during the Advent season and whose birth we celebrate in our Christmas festivities is in a very true sense ourselves! We are the ones and the only ones who as members of his body, that is, the extension of Christ through space and time, can be for our world what he was for his. May the Lord, I pray, through His Spirit guide us in getting behind the tinsel, gift exchanges, and holiday hype to ponder the sacred reality –about ourselves—that we celebrate this Advent season.
—Fr. Jack Dister, S.J. resides at Colombiere Center, the Jesuit retirement community in Clarkston MI.
O Emmanuel, ruler and lawgiver,
Desire of the nations,
Savior of all people:
Come and set us free, Lord our God!
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!