Who is that messenger preparing the way of the Lord in today’s first reading from the prophet Malachi? Who is that new Elijah who will “turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers”?  The Christ whose coming we anticipate during the Advent season and whose birth we celebrate in our Christmas festivities is in a very true sense ourselves! We are the ones and the only ones who as members of his body, that is,  the extension of Christ through space and time, can be for our world what he was for his. May the Lord, I pray, through His Spirit guide us in getting behind the tinsel, gift exchanges, and holiday hype to ponder the sacred reality –about ourselves—that we celebrate this Advent season.

—Fr. Jack Dister, S.J. resides at Colombiere Center, the Jesuit retirement community in Clarkston MI.