“They did not recognize him but did to him whatever they pleased.”

Yesterday we continued to read about John the Baptist (Mt 17:9a, 10-13).  Jesus, with His disciples on the way down from the mountain after the Transfiguration, is asked why it is said that Elijah must come first.  He explains that Elijah is to restore all things and that he has already come.  Per the headline, he was not recognized and thus treated badly.  Jesus says He will suffer the same fate.  Then they understood that Jesus was speaking of John the Baptist.  What was true then is true now.  Not only is Jesus, Son of God, Savior, widely not recognized (either explicitly or by the way individuals behave and society has developed) today, but those who herald the Messiah are often persecuted in their role as evangelizers.  The message is unrecognized and thus rejected because it does not comport with modern ways of thinking and behaving.  Because of this, those who heed Jesus’ call to make Him known to the world are regularly ignored, ridiculed, despised, and even harmed.  Sin and vice cloud the eyes of the soul to the reality of the Truth, making it unrecognizable and even undesirable (good becomes evil) to those steeped in sin.  In a day and age in which evil seems to be growing by leaps and bounds, where crime and terror are on our front pages daily, where atrocities and senseless violence are becoming the sad norm, our prayer must become more intense, reform of our lives must not be pushed back another moment, and our example of authentic Christian living is desperately needed.

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