It is 16th December 2017. The readings are from Sirach 48:1-4, 9-11; and the Gospel from Matthew 17:10-13. We reflect about the impressive deeds of the prophet Elijah. But all his deeds were only those voices that echoed God. Our belief must echo our loving God we believe and trust. Only a few of us would resemble the prophets like Elijah and John the Baptist, yet we all can contribute in a small way with a big heart. These great men prepared the hearts and lives of people and created a way that is clean and clear where the Lord could walk into their lives. The second week of the Advent is time of preparation spiritually followed by materially. It is time to go through everything in us including our material belongings. Let us remove all that we have accumulated and stored for long and come forward to share with those who are less fortunate than we are materially. Our personal poverty and penance need to be inculcated in our lives. Without suffering, there is no salvation. We all need to go through a certain amount of purging in order to be purified. Let us start with what we can and afford, that is materially, then move to deeper level which is spiritually, what we should and ought to get rid of all that not allowing us to be the voice of the Messiah. Our preparation must be beyond the decoration and buying new things during this time, it is all about sharing the best we have with those poor and the needy and consider dealing with our casual and continuous moments of sins. Have you considered going for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Penance? The responsorial Psalm prays, “God of hosts, bring us back; let your face shine on us and we shall be saved.” (Ps.79:4). In the Gospel, Jesus pointed out that Elijah had come already but the people did not recognize him and did whatever it pleased them. Most of us find it hard to recognize good and inspiring people in our lives but we are so swift to be friendly with those who oppose the way of the Lord and those who offer us a temporary relief and pleasure physically. Some of us have to prepare the way of the Lord in the lives of the other. Yes, it is painful and unrewarding and criticized to the fullest, but we must prepare the way of the Lord. Jesus, Elijah and John the Baptist went through so much of suffering either to show the way to God or to be the way to the Father. As we recognize the unmatchable gift of God to humanity in the person of Jesus, we who believe Him need to offer our very selves to the humanity for the betterment of the other. May God bless you all and have a good day.