Jesus predicts His Passion and reveals that St. John the Baptist is the new Elijah. Every Catholic Man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Humility so he can be awed by the Eucharist and by pursuing the Virtue of Studiousness so he can read Sacred Scripture every day. 

Liturgy

2nd Week of Advent – Saturday – Mt 17:9a,10-13

Commentary

In His astounding Transfiguration, during which the Divinity of Jesus Christ was miraculously made manifest to the Apostles Peter, James and John, Jesus shone with a supernatural light, God the Father was heard, and the Holy Spirit appeared as a cloud. After mysteriously summoning and speaking with Moses and Elijah, the great Jewish leaders who had been dead for hundreds of years, Jesus leads His inner core of the Apostles down the mountain. 

As they descend the mountain, Jesus confirms He is the Son of Man, the long-awaited Messiah, provides an astounding prophecy of His coming death, and His resurrection from the dead. Jesus forbids His closest disciples from revealing the supernatural  experience of the Transfiguration, which confirms Jesus’ divinity, until after He has been raised from the dead. His reasons for not publicly revealing His Transfiguration are mysterious, but may have been to avoid a popular political movement to make Him the worldly king of a renewed nation of Israel, or because He had determined the perfect time to reveal His divinity was after the Resurrection; in any case, the Apostles obediently do not reveal the truth of the Transfiguration until after the Ascension. 

The disciples, knowing the scriptures and that the Jewish scribes spoke of the return of Elijah prior to the coming of the Messiah (Mal 4:5), are perhaps confused because Elijah did not remain after the Transfiguration, and they ask Jesus about Elijah. Jesus speaks cryptically, revealing that Elijah had already come, had not been recognized, and had been abused. The Apostles then realize that Jesus revealed that John the Baptist is the new Elijah, who had already announced the Messiah’s return in the Incarnation of Jesus, and had been murdered.  

Be awed by Jesus Christ

When Scripture is approached casually or becomes familiar, the astounding impact of what is occurring can be missed. Be astounded by Jesus, the Divine Prophet: He has a complete and precise understanding of the big picture and the details of the entire history of mankind; He understands existence in both a worldly and supernatural level; He has a deep understanding of the roles of the past prophets, such as Elijah and John the Baptist; He perfectly knows, and can shape, how future events will unfold. 

Be humbled and awed by the Eucharist

Realize: Jesus gives the Apostles a brief but powerful glimpse of His true supernatural Divine Presence and they were filled with awe (fear and divine reverence) and humbled; the same Jesus resides in the Eucharist in the Tabernacle in every parish.

Believe: Reflect upon the Eucharist and the Tabernacle (CCC 1179-1186; 1373-1381).

Pray: Jesus, Most Holy Eucharist, help me build the Virtue of Humility (a part of Temperance) so I can recognize Your infinite greatness and my own lowliness, and I beg that you fill me with awe at Your True Presence in the Eucharist when I encounter you in the Mass and in Adoration. 

Commit to read the Gospels every day

Realize: Another powerful way to draw closer to Jesus is to meet Him in the Gospels and other books of the Bible. 

Believe: During Advent, at the start of the new liturgical year, renew your understanding of the importance of studying Sacred Scripture (CCC 133, 144, 1437, 2653).

Pray: Jesus, Divine Word and Source of Scripture, help me grow in the Virtue of Studiousness (a part of Temperance) so I build a disciplined daily habit of meditating upon the Gospels and other books of the Bible, draw ever-closer to You and lead my family to meet, know and love You in Sacred Scripture.