The New Elijah (Mt 17:10-13)
O Jesus, help me to see the Father’s saving plan.
Picture Jesus coming down the mountain with Peter, James and John.
These three apostles have just seen the transfigured Jesus speaking with Moses and Elijah on the mountaintop. This experience leads them to bring up a popular religious question about Elijah, namely that he will return before the Messiah. Jesus’ answer is startling.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
As they were coming down the mountain, his disciples asked Jesus, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” Jesus answered them, “Indeed, Elijah must come first and restore all things. However, I say to you that Elijah has already come and they did not recognize him. They did to him whatever they pleased.”
The disciples understood that Jesus was talking about John the Baptist.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- John the Baptist begins the timetable for Jesus’ ministry.
- The three apostles, as devout Jews, know the prophecy about Elijah returning before the coming of the Messiah.
- This mysterious figure “Elijah,” the greatest of the Old Testament prophets, was to proclaim the Messiah.
- By sending John the Baptist, the Father fulfilled this prophecy.
- The Jews made a mistake. They did not recognize John as the new Elijah.
- They will also fail to see Jesus as the Messiah.
- The disciples do not miss the point. John was Elijah and Jesus is certainly the Messiah.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Father, all of my life is according to your timetable.
- You send messengers to me. These turn my heart to your spiritual world.
- Having heard them, my heart must receive Jesus.
- You leave no doubt. You make me certain. Jesus, you are the Messiah.
- O Jesus, I recognize you. I know who you are. I have full certainty. You are my Lord and God.
- I give myself to you in full confidence.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
+ I will use each day well because God has his divine plan.
+ I will accept those whom God sends me to prepare my heart.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)
Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him!