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Then the Disciples Understood – Saturday of the Second Week of Advent
Saturday of the Second Week of Advent
Memorial of Saint John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church
Matthew 17:9A, 10-13
As they were coming down from the mountain, the disciples asked Jesus, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” He said in reply, “Elijah will indeed come and restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him but did to him whatever they pleased. So also will the Son of Man suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.
Opening Prayer: Dear God, please open my ears so that I may hear you; please open my heart so that I may love you.
1. Coming down from the Mountain: Mental prayer can be a mountaintop experience: When we close our eyes, place ourselves in the Lord’s presence, give all of our distractions to him, and feel the slow and steady rhythm of our breathing, our heart and mind ascend to the Lord, somewhere inexplicably. All of our thoughts, concerns, and worries melt away, and it is just the Lord. In these moments, trust is built and we can share the deepest longings of our heart.
2. Misunderstanding Elijah: Do we look for answered prayers according to our vision and our will, or do we have eyes to see the Lord at work in ways unexpected? The Lord invites us to ask questions, to understand, and to learn from him, as did his disciples. He also asks us to keep an open mind, recalling what the prophet Isaiah said: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways” (Isaiah 55:8).
3. Then the Disciples Understood: On the mountaintop with the Lord in prayer, we can ask for knowledge, wisdom, and understanding–gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:7-11). With these gifts, we see more clearly God’s working in our lives and the lives of those we love. We hear and comprehend what Jesus says to us, like his disciples did in today’s Gospel. Come Holy Spirit!
Conversing with Christ: Lord of my life, help me to relish the mountaintop moments with you and to always be grateful for the times you bless me with the ability to see through your eyes. Help me to recognize your ways at work in my life.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will make an evening examen where I reflect on the movements of my heart and recognize your presence at work in my life.
For Further Reflection: The Examen Journal: Finding God Everyday by Mary Williams.
Marjorie Davin is a lay member of Regnum Christi of 21 years who has served as director of the Women’s Section in the Washington, D.C., area. She and her husband just celebrated their jubilee anniversary of 25 years and are the parents of four adult children.