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Faith Daily | 11 December 2021

PRAYER of the DAY - Advent Two APBA p466



Merciful God,

who sent your messenger John the Baptist

to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation:

give us grace to heed his warning and forsake our sins,

that we may greet with joy the coming of our Redeemer,

Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Amen.



GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 17: 10-13


10And the disciples asked him, ‘Why, then, do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?’ 11He replied, ‘Elijah is indeed coming and will restore all things; 12but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but they did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man is about to suffer at their hands.’ 13Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them about John the Baptist.


GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Angela Back


What an overwhelming event the three disciples witnessed on the mountain. Their master had been transformed in light, ordinary life was pushed aside, and a fuller reality disclosed. Such love and affirmation were displayed, and heard that day, as also at the Jordan river. “This is my much-loved son, listen to him.” Jesus was being prepared and strengthened for what he faced in the days ahead. Luke tells us that they left the mountain the next day, so they had time to talk at length about this – how Jesus was revealed as the Messiah of the coming Kingdom.


Going down the mountain, they were still trying to sort it all out. “What about Elijah?” Jesus was clear about it. Yes, Elijah comes before the Kingdom is revealed, but Elijah is not the dazzling Elijah of the mountain but the rough and ready man of the desert who baptised, and whose life was cut short by a vindictive Herod. John the Baptizer paid the price for the faithful role he played. And Jesus is curt. “They treated him like dirt, the same way they are about to treat the Son of Man (the Message).” Jesus will pay a greater price. Now it’s no longer an academic question for religious scholars, but something hugely personal and immanent. Jesus was heading towards Jerusalem, the pincers would snap closed, the shame and suffering of crucifixion would overwhelm them all. This would be the overturning of their rosy hopes for the Messiah. They didn’t expect a Lamb sacrificed, and they would never have dreamed of a transformation, greater than that on the mountain. They were all to be confronted with the wonder of death’s defeat. With the resurrection, a different glory came upon them unawares, and on us too.


FINAL PRAYER: Ngatiawa River Monastery/ Teresa of Calcutta


God as we strive for success,

for wealth,

for stability,

for status,

turn our eyes down from the top of the mountain

that we may see to wash the feet of the world:

for if we pray, we will believe;

if we believe, we will love;

if we love, we will serve.

Amen

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