In the first reading today from Sirach 48, we see a synopsis of the life and times of Elijah. The people were awaiting his return. In the Gospel reading from Matthew 17, Jesus says, “Elijah will indeed come and restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him…” The disciples understood that Jesus was talking about John the Baptist.
The children of Israel were expecting Elijah to come back in the way he went out – on a fiery chariot. The return of Elijah was going to be a big deal. There was no way that anyone would be able to miss it! And yet miss it they did. Why? Because God brought about the return of Elijah in an unexpected way.
How often have we missed a gift from God that was right in front of us because it came in a way we didn’t expect? We are so good at telling God the way that we think he should operate that when he operates “outside the box,” it goes right over our heads. Perhaps we could recognize God’s work in our lives better if we just stopped projecting our expectations on God. God will do what He wills anyway. Better if we just watch for His mighty hand, and expect the unexpected.
Father, help us to stop expecting you to meet our expectations. Open our eyes to your wondrous works, no matter how you bring them about. Amen.
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