Gospel: Matthew 17:9a, 10-13
And as they came down the mountain, Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone what they had seen, until the Son of Man be raised from the dead.
The disciples asked him, “Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?” Jesus answered, “So it is: first comes Elijah; and he will restore all things. But I tell you, Elijah has already come; and they did not recognize him; and they treated him as they pleased. And they will also make the Son of Man suffer.”
Then the disciples understood that Jesus was referring to John the Baptist.

“they will also make the Son of Man suffer.”
In today’s readings, we heard of a prominent figure in the Old Testament – the Prophet Elijah. The Gospel narrative follows im­mediately after the Transfigura­tion event wherein Jesus’ three disciples Peter, James and John, have seen a vision of Jesus as the glorious Son of the Father. In that event, they saw Moses and Elijah speaking with Jesus and thereby giving them a hint of the mission of Jesus as Messiah, and his fate: suffering, dying and rising again.
While they were on their way down, the disciples asked Jesus, “Why do the scribes says that Elijah has to come first?” To which Jesus replied: “I tell you that Elijah has come already and they did not re­cognize him but treated him as they pleased.” Elijah had, indeed, arrived, but they did not recognize him. This would also be Jesus’ fate. He came but they did not recognize him. Instead, they persecuted him.
The role of Elijah’s return was to pave the way for the coming of the Messiah and this is what John the Baptist did exactly. Friends, both Elijah and John the Baptist reminds us of our obligation as dis­ciples of the Lord: to do our share in preparing the way for the Lord’s coming. Now, how do I make my own preparations for the Lord’s birth?

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