Everyone sees the unseen in proportion to the clarity of his heart, and that depends upon how much he has polished it. Whoever has polished it more sees more - more unseen forms become manifest to him. - Rumi (13th-century Persian poet)
Gospel Text: (MT 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.
A new way of looking and new heart are necessary if the ways of God are to be recognized, and if we are to respond with cheerfulness and generosity to the demanding calls of those He has sent. Not everybody is willing to understand it, let alone live it. What's more the way we live our lives and our plans might be in opposition to God's will. An opposition that could turn into a struggle against, and a rejection of, Our Father in Heaven.
We need to discover the intense love that informs God's plans for us and, if we are to be consistent with the faith and morality that Jesus reveals to us, we can't be surprised by the bad treatment, the slander and the persecutions. Being on the right track doesn't stop there being difficulties in life and He, despite the suffering, teaches us to keep on going.
As we wait earnestly for the coming of Immanuel during this Advent season I am reminded of yet another way in which God influenced humanity in an unexpected way. No one expected the Messiah to come in such humble circumstances and to such humble people as a young Mary and her husband Joseph. And no one was probably more surprised than Mary at the way God choose to bring his son into the world. I often wonder how Mary felt when she was pregnant with our Lord.
So today we ask the Mother of Jesus, Queen of the Apostles, to intercede so that no one will be lacking a friend who, like the prophets, will bring them the Good News of salvation that is brought to us through the birth of Jesus Christ. We have the mission, you and me, to make sure that this Christmas is experienced in a more Christian way by those people who cross their path with ours.