Thursday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time
(Malachi 3:13-20b; Luke 11:5-13)
The Book of the Prophet Malachi has traditionally sat at the end of the Old Testament. It was probably composed during the difficult times after the return of the Jews from the Babylonian exile. The author is actually anonymous. “Malachi” just means “my messenger.” Biblical experts suppose that the prophet preferred to go nameless because of his harsh critique of Jerusalem’s priests and rulers.
Today’s passage from Malachi exposes the thinking of the faithless and God’s promise to the faithful. The faithless despair of the Law. Not prospering after trying to keep it, they want to abandon it. Like the proud everywhere, they find little if any need for God. However, God promises that those who strive for justice will find salvation. It will feel like the comforting warmth of sunrays on a winter day. Meanwhile, God threatens the unjust with fire caused by the fierce sun of summer.
The prophecy has been fulfilled at least partially in Jesus. He has brought comfort to the suffering in many ways. He healed the sick. Today Christians, the members of his body, perform countless healings and acts of charity in his name. We may not heal physical maladies, but we can provide spiritual comfort. By listening attentively, speaking humbly, and acting graciously we contribute to the spiritual well-being of the world.