Readings: Mal. 3:1-4, 23-24 | Ps. 25:4-5, 8-10, 14 | Lk. 1:57-66
Malachi calls the people to prepare the way of the Lord. He promises that one is coming in whom they will delight and that he will be like a refiner’s fire and a fuller’s soap. This person will refine all the people and make them and their offerings pleasing to the Lord. He refers to this person as Elijah who will return to bring all back to God. The Gospel relates the story of the birth of John the Baptist who is the new Elijah. We are familiar with this scene where Elizabeth is asked what they will call their son. She replies “John,” but the priest and people object. When Zachariah is questioned, he responds on a tablet: “John is his name.” Immediately his tongue is loosened, and he gives thanks and praise with the prayer we call the Benedictus.
As we are moving closer to Christmas, take time to recall all your gifts. Pray the Benedictus as a prayer of gratitude and as a prayer of anticipation for Christmas. Ask for the graces you and your family need in order to grow closer to God.