Advent, December 23, Wednesday

Malachi 3: 1-4, 23-24; Luke 1: 5-25

I will send my messenger; “He will prepare the way for me.”

 The last book in the Old Testament is the book of the prophet Malachi. Speaking in God’s name, Malachi says, “Lo, I will send you Elijah, the prophet” to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord, (NAB) When ancient kings planned a visit to some outlying city in their kingdom, their first step was to send an “advance man” to the citizens of the city to instruct them in the proper protocol for receiving the king. Malachi says that Elijah will be the “advance man” of the Lord. He will prepare the way for the King of Kings to visit his people. Jesus identified John the Baptist as the Elijah spoken of by Malachi. (Matthew 17:13)    


If our lives continue in the direction they’re now going, how prepared will we be when the King of Kings comes in all his glory? “True repentance is to cease to sin.” St. Ambrose 


The task of choosing a name is an honourable task but nonetheless a difficult task. Whether it is choosing a name for a person, or for a business, or for a society, there are many factors to be considered. One of which is that it must sound nice and also meaningful, not just in the predominant language, but also in other dialects and languages. 

The name John is a Jewish name (Yehohanan) and it means God-is-gracious. That name has a great significance for Elizabeth and Zechariah. Elizabeth was barren and barrenness was seen as a curse from God. So the conception and birth of John was indeed a gracious blessing from God. But God's grace did not just give Zechariah and Elizabeth a son. God's grace will be continued in the life and mission of John. 

John's mission was to prepare the people for the time of intense grace from God. A time of restoration to the dignity as God's people. A time of reconciliation between God and each other.

 Let us prepare ourselves to receive this moment of intense grace from God, so that we can be a grace-filled and a graceful people.


Indeed, “God is gracious.” We are told today about the birth of the forerunner of Jesus, John the Baptist. We remember the coming of the Savior and how a special messenger of God had to prepare the hearts of people for the coming of the Savior. But our Savior, Jesus, came long ago. How much are we living as people who are saved? How much do we enter into God’s plan to save our world? How much do we prepare Jesus’ coming into the hearts of people today? 

Prayer:  Lord, our God, in this time of waiting, you must still be waiting for us, how we respond to the coming of your Son Jesus in our hearts and in our world. Make us people of hope, not people of the past, but men and women, the young and the children too, who want to see Jesus, our Savior, alive and active among us. We ask you this through Christ, our Lord.