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Saturday, December 11, 1999

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Pope St. Damasus I

Sirach 48:1-4, 9-11
Psalm 80
Matthew 17:10-13

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eli's coming

"The scribes claim that Elijah must come first." —Matthew 17:10

Before Jesus came the first time, the new Elijah, John the Baptizer, came (Mt 17:12). Before Jesus comes the final time, Elijah will come (Mal 3:23). Before Jesus comes into our hearts and world this Christmas season and Great Jubilee, Elijah will also come.

Elijah comes as a prophet. His words are "as a flaming furnace" (Sir 48:1). He calls us to repentance and purification. He turns "back the hearts of fathers toward their sons" and daughters, and thereby restores family life and re-establishes the people of God (Sir 48:10).

To meet Christ in this Christmas of the Great Jubilee in preparation for the new millennium, we must let the prophetic word penetrate and judge "the reflections and thoughts" of our hearts (Heb 4:12). Then we will repent and be forgiven as we forgive those who have sinned against us (Mt 6:12) — especially our spouses, children, and parents. Through the prophetic word, the mountains will be leveled, the valleys filled, the crooked ways made straight, and the rough ways made smooth (Lk 3:5). If we obey the prophetic word of new Elijahs, the way will be prepared for Christ's coming (Lk 3:4), and we will meet Jesus this Christmas in a life-changing, world-changing way.

Prayer:  Father, grace me with repentance even if I must be "reduced...to straits" (Sir 48:2).

Promise:  "Give us new life, and we will call upon Your name." —Ps 80:19

Praise:  Pope St. Damasus worked for the reconciliation of schismatics and heretics so that the Church might be one.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 21, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1999