Saturday in the Second Week of Advent

The Prophet Malachi writes, “Behold, I will send Elijah before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes.” 

At Passover meals, pious Jewish families leave an open door to welcome the prophet Elijah, and they recite this prayer: “May he come to us soon, bringing the Messiah.”   An empty chair is provided for the prophet at their table along with a cup of wine.   

But after World War II the empty chair took on new meaning. It reminded families of the six million Jews who could not be present because they had perished in the Holocaust.   

Today another far worse holocaust is taking place.  Millions of children are perishing every year by abortion and even more by a loss of faith.  We see empty choir stalls in our monasteries and the closing of many churches. May we take heart from the example of our Jewish brothers and sisters to intensify our prayers for Christ to come and fill these empty places with fervent members of his Body.