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Lord Jesus

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Matthew 17:9A, 10 - 13

Coming down from the mountain

Today’s short Gospel reading takes place immediately after the Transfiguration. Peter, James, and John had just been witnesses to something awful and amazing: getting a glimpse of Jesus’ divine glory. While hanging out talking to Moses and Elijah. No big deal.

Actually, it was a big deal. I often think I’d react like Peter and blurt out, “This is GREAT! Let’s never go back! Let’s stay here forever!” But that wasn’t the plan as we know, because today’s reading begins, “As they were coming down from the mountain.”

So, fresh on their minds is the fact that Jesus was having a mountaintop meeting with Elijah, but wait, wasn’t Elijah supposed to come back before Christ? That was the Jewish expectation based on Scripture and prophecy. Jesus sets the record straight for them, although it took them a minute to get it: Elijah did return in the form of John the Baptist. Ahh, we see now.

Like the disciples, we’re slowly coming around to the point in Advent. There was a plan, a slow and steady plan, to bring us all to Jesus. We just have to watch for the signs and listen to him.

Try this: Pray a litany to St. John the Baptist.

Jesus, I pray for the grace to keep making my own paths straight in preparation for your coming at Christmas.