The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2014, whose website is located at DailyScripture.net
God gives signs to show what he is about to do. John the Baptist is one such sign, who pointed to Jesus and prepared the way for his coming. John fulfilled the essential task of all the prophets: to be fingers pointing to Jesus Christ. John is the last and greatest prophet of the old kingdom, the old covenant. The Jews expected that when the Messiah would come, Elijah would appear to announce his presence. John fills the role of Elijah and prepares the way for the coming of Jesus Christ by preaching a baptism of repentance and renewal.
As watchful servants, we, too must prepare for the Lord’s coming again by turning away from sin and from everything that would keep us from pursuing his will. Are you eager to do God’s will and are you prepared to meet the Lord Jesus when he returns in glory?
“Lord Jesus, stir my zeal for your righteousness and for your kingdom. Free me from complacency and from compromising with the ways of sin and worldliness that I may be wholeheartedly devoted to you and to your kingdom.”
The following reflection is courtesy of PresentationMinistries.com (c) 2014. Their website is located at PresentationMinistries.com
U R E. & J.
“Elijah is indeed coming, and he will restore everything.” Matthew 17:11
Jesus said that Elijah would restore everything. What a statement! Everything? How could someone restore everything? Jesus said that the restoration of everything was begun by John the Baptizer (Mt 17:13), who came “in the spirit and power of Elijah” (Lk 1:17). The Power for this universal restoration is the Holy Spirit. Consequently, John was “filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb” (Lk 1:15). John began the restoration of everything by turning “the hearts of fathers to their children” (Lk 1:17).
This universal restoration is still in process. When we complete it, the world will end and Jesus will come back. Until then, “Jesus must remain in heaven until the time of universal restoration which God spoke of long ago through His holy prophets” (Acts 3:21). So Jesus is waiting for us to finish the job. We may feel overwhelmed at this responsibility, since universal restoration seems no less monumental now than at Jesus’ time, despite all the Lord has been doing in the meantime. However, all we have to do is what Elijah and John did be filled with the Spirit, obey the Lord, and focus on turning the hearts of fathers to their children. If we do this much, we will do our part to bring about universal restoration and hasten Jesus’ final coming (2 Pt 3:12). YoU aRe another Elijah and John. Work and live accordingly.
Prayer: Father, may this Advent and my life’s work follow in the tradition of Elijah and John. Promise: “You are destined, it is written, in time to come to put an end to wrath before the day of the Lord.” Sir 48:10 Praise: St. Lucy vowed herself to virginity at an early age and remained faithful to Christ even to the point of giving up her life as a martyr. (For a related teaching, order our tape Renewing Our Culture on audio AV 80-3 or video V-80.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from December 1, 2014 through January 31, 2015.
Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 30, 2014.
The rescript is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted ecclesial permission agree with the contents, opinions, or statements