We are to announce the Lord’s coming…
This gospel passage weaves together the old testament, the new testament and our own times in a lovely way. Elijah was a prophet of the old testament that was taken up to heaven and it was believed that he would come again to announce the coming of the Messiah. Jesus calls John, the Elijah who was to return – thus pointing to Himself as that long-awaited Messiah and to John’s unique role in announcing His coming.
The three figures are about building the Kingdom of heaven by creating community and that is what we too are called to do. We, like John, are to announce the Lord’s coming in the lives of others – to prepare His way. We are not to be ‘the violent’, taking the Kingdom by storm – the ones destroying the Kingdom and community by luring others away. As John is the bridge between the old and the new testament so we are to be a bridge – linking others to Jesus and Kingdom living.