In those days, like a fire there appeared the prophet Elijah whose words were as a flaming furnace. Their staff of bread he shattered, in his zeal he reduced them to straits; By the Lord’s word he shut up the heavens and three times brought down fire. How awesome are you, Elijah, in your wondrous deeds! Whose glory is equal to yours? You were taken aloft in a whirlwind of fire, in a chariot with fiery horses. You were destined, it is written, in time to come to put an end to wrath before the day of the LORD. To turn back the hearts of fathers toward their sons, and to re-establish the tribes of Jacob. Blessed is he who shall have seen you and who falls asleep in your friendship.
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
The Jewish people anticipated the return of Elijah, one of their greatest prophets. Elijah, whose name means “My God is Yahweh,” defended Yahweh against those who worshipped the idol Baal, raised the dead, brought fire down from the sky, and was taken up in a whirlwind of fire. The Jewish people believed that Elijah would return to earth and “put an end to wrath before the day of the LORD.”
During the season of Advent we wait for and anticipate the coming again of Christ into the world on Christmas day. We expect that Christ will do miraculous things and set the world on fire with his love. We wait for Jesus to end all hate, war, and poverty. We long for Jesus to give us “good tidings for you and your kin.”
As I read from the Book of Sirach today, I wondered if perhaps I am being invited to be like the prophet Elijah. Am I being asked to be a fire in the world and use my words as a flaming furnace to destroy all hatred and fear? Am I being encouraged to bring peace and joy to the people I live with or meet by doing what is right and just? Am I expected to be compassionate to all I deal with and help to turn back the hearts of parents toward their sons and daughters?
Maybe Jesus is hoping that I will actively work for the Kingdom of heaven as I wait for his coming again into the world on Christmas day.
—Brother John Moriconi, S.J., a noted mandolinist, provincial’s secretary for the Chicago-Detroit Jesuit Province.
Christ has no body but yours, No hands, no feet on earth but yours, Yours are the eyes with which he looks, Compassion on this world, Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good, yours are the hands with which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, Yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now but yours, No hands, no feet on earth but yours, Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.
—Teresa of AvilaPlease share the Good Word with your friends!