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My Summary Notes on the Prophet Malachi

Posted by Dim Bulb on October 15, 2016

The Book of Malachi is written in diatribe style, the purpose of which is to exhort and admonish both priests and people to embrace and do the will of God. The book was written during the post-exilic period, after the return from Babylon which occurred in 538 BC, and after the construction of the temple (circa 518 BC) but (according to some scholars) before the return of Ezra, whose date of return is disputed. The NABRE suggests the book was written around 445 BC, after the return of Ezra but just before the return of Nehemiah.

The work contains six diatribes, with the first providing the foundation for the rest: 1.   God loves Israel and wishes to maintain covenant relations with his people (Mal 1:2-5).  2.  For this relationship to continue the priests must offer proper sacrifices at the temple (Mal 1:6-2:9).  3.  The people must maintain their marriages as if safeguarding their own lives (Mal 2:10-16).  4.  God will send a messenger of righteousness to refine the people (i.e., make them repentant) before He returns in judgment (Mal 2:17-3:5).  5.  God, through His prophet, exhorts the people to offer tithes that are not fraudulent. If they try this they will find blessing (Mal 3:6-12).  6.  Exhortations and warning to remember the covenant (Mal 3:13-4:5 [i3:13-24 in NABRE]).

FIRST DIATRIBE, Mal 1:2-5. After a brief superscription (Mal 1:1) the body of the book opens with its first diatribe which is directed against those who say and act as if God doesn’t love them. But God insists that His love is manifested by the fact that He chose their father Jacob (also called Israel) rather than his brother Esua (father of the Edomites). By the time of Malachi the People of God had been exiled, their land destroyed; but they had returned and rebuilt. The country of Edom was desolate and would never be rebuilt.

Proof of God’s love for his people is the point of this first diatribe and it establishes the basis for all the rest. Further, each subsequent diatribe prepares for the one following it, or, is related to the one preceding it.

SECOND DIATRIBE, Mal 1:6-2:9. Because of his abiding love (first diatribe) God deserves from the priests the honor due a father, and reverential fear due to a master. But the priests have begun offering impure and sick animals which even the pagan governor then ruling over the land would not be pleased with (Mal 1:7-8). Thus–and this calls to mind the first diatribe–they are shown treating with contempt the God who chose them (Jacob) over pagan peoples (Esau). The prophet looks forward to a time when God’s name will be great and feared among the nations and a pure sacrifice will be continually offered to Him (Mal 1:11, 14).

THIRD DIATRIBE, Mal 2:10-16. Just as the priests have broken the covenant with Levi and profaned the Temple (second diatribe),  so too have the men of Judah broken the covenant of the fathers and defiled the sanctuary, here possibly referring to the legitimate wife as a temple (Mal 2:10-11). this they have done by breaking the marriage covenant with their wives to marry the daughters of foreign gods. (Mal 2:14-16). The Lord desires Godly offspring (Mal 2:15).

FOURTH DIATRIBE, Mal 2:17-3:5. The God who hates divorce and desires Godly offspring (third diatribe) is a God who demands justice among people (Mal 2:17). He will purify those who have broken the covenant with Levi (Mal 3:3-4, referring to diatribe 2); and He will judge those who deal wickedly, especially those guilty of perverting marriage (adulterers), and those who oppress people who have lost their family (widows and orphans, Mal 3:5).

FIFTH DIATRIBE, Mal 3:6-12. The God of justice who always seeks to bring His people to repentance and judges those who refuse (fourth diatribe) does not change, and this keeps His people from being consumed (Mal 3:6). Thus God challenges His people to challenge Him, put Him to the test by offering tithes rightly, then they will see Him fulfill His covenant promises (Mal 3:10-12, see Deut 28:1-15).

SIXTH DIATRIBE: Mal 3:13-4:6 [3:13-24 in NABRE]. The God who challenged His people to challenge Him (fifth diatribe) now critiques those who say that the wicked prosper when they put God to the test (Mal 3:13-15). By divine judgement those who heed the Lord will be distinguished from those who do not (Mal 3:16-4:3). The Lord who promised not  to destroy the fruit of the soil and the abundance of the fields if His people responded to him (fifth diatribe), ends His last diatribe by telling His people to remember the Covenant with Moses, and assures them that He will send them Elijah to preach repentance, “lest I come and smite the land with a curse” (Mal 4:5-6).

In my opinion the first three diatribes parallel sequentially the second three (note the color coding).

1 Mal 1:2-5. God made a distinction between Jacob (Israel) and Esau (Edom). Esau is punished forever, his land desolate.
2 Mal 1:6-2:9. The priests are not offering right sacrifices. They have also turned aside from the way and perverted the instructions they gave to the people. A curse is invoked.
3 Mal 2:10-16. The people have polluted the sanctuary that the Lord loves (a reference to the legitimate wife?) by not maintaining the family relationship of marriage. Marriage is for the purpose of Godly offspring (family).
4 Mal 2:17-3:5.  The Day of the Lord. The Messenger of the Covenant will come to refine the priests and people in preparation for the Lord’s coming to His Temple (sanctuary). The Lord will judge sinners, including those who pervert marriage (adulterers), and those who oppress people without families (widows and orphans).
5 Mal 3:6-12. The people are not offering tithes rightly. They have turned aside from the Lord’s statutes. A curse is invoked.
6 Mal 3:13-4:5 [3:13-24 in NABRE]. God will make a distinction between the righteous who are His special possession, and the wicked who will be utterly destroyed. The people must stay turned toward God lest he come and smite (make desolate) the land.

The book began by emphasizing the fact that God had specially chosen Jacob (Israel) over Esau (Edomites); and it highlighted the fact that the land of the latter had been thoroughly destroyed (Mal 1:2-5). The book ends with the Lord distinguishing between the righteous and the wicked; between those who serve God and those who don’t; and a warning is given to repent, lest God smite the land with an Edom-like curse (Mal 3:13-4:5). The lesson here is quite simple: you cannot treat being chosen by God as if it were a cheap gift.  Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required (Lk 12:48). You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people (1 Pet 2:9), and it is for this very reason that it is imperative to understand that judgement begins with the household of God (1 Pet 4:17). God’s grace and favor bring great responsibilities: You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities (Amos 3:2)

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St Irenaeus Ministries Podcast Study of Malachi

Posted by Dim Bulb on October 5, 2013

St Irenaeus Ministries offered a four part talk on the Book of the Prophet Malachi back in 2007. Click on the POD icon to listen to each episode. NOTE: the episodes are listed from latest to earliest so start at the bottom.

The final prophetic words of the Old Testament.
Direct download: Malachi2b.mp3
Category:podcasts — posted at: 4:00 AM

A Broader Condemnation
Direct download: Malachi2a.mp3
Category:podcasts — posted at: 4:32 AM

Wherein God uses language you can’t discuss in mixed company.
Direct download: Malachi1b.mp3
Category:podcasts — posted at: 3:09 AM

Malachi – The Refiner’s Fire
Direct download: Malachi1a.mp3
Category:podcasts — posted at: 2:04 AM

Posted in Audio/Video Lectures, Audio/Video Lectures, Bible, Catholic, Devotional Resources, Notes on Malachi, Notes on the Lectionary, Scripture | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

My Notes on Malachi 3:1-4

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 28, 2012

These notes are taken from a longer post I did for the First Mass reading used on December 23 in the Ordinary Form of the Rite. To view that longer post go here. All Scripture quotes, except those within the quotes of other (e.g., Jerome, Lapide) are from the RSV which is under copyright: The [New] Revised Standard Version Bible may be quoted and/or reprinted up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express written permission of the publisher, provided the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible or account for fifty percent (50%) of the total work in which they are quoted. Notice of copyright must appear on the title or copyright page of the work as follows: “Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

3:1.  “Behold, I send my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.

Behold, I send my messenger to prepare the way before me. It is important to keep in mind that there are two messengers mentioned in this verse. The first will prepare the way before the Lord and he is later identified as being Elijah (Mal 3:23-24, in some translation 4:5-6). The second is the messenger of the covenant, the Lord himself.

Concerning the first messenger he is to prepare the way of the Lord, he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers (3:24, 4:6 some translations). He will, in other words, do what the priest of Levi should have done; he will turn many from iniquity (2:6). The priests could never turn the hearts of a father or child to one another for they had destroyed their own relationship with God the Father: A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name (1:6).

3:1 cont. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming. The words seek and delight are biting sarcasm. The priests, rather than seeking the Lord turned aside from him and caused many of the people to stumble (2:8). The people themselves will be accused of turning aside in 3:7, and the last thing people who have turned aside from the Lord want is his coming to them: Woe to you who desire the day of the LORD! Why would you have the day of the LORD? It is darkness, and not light (Amos 5:18). And recall that in the previous verse (2:17) the people were shown as claiming that God “delights” in everyone who does evil. The people are ill-prepared to either seek or delight in the Lord (see next verse), hence the need for the Messenger to come before him, preparing the way.

In the Gospels this messenger is identified as St John the Baptist who went before the Lord Jesus in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared (Lk 1:17).  See also Lk 1:76, 7:27; Matt 11:10; Mark 1:2.

The Lord you seek will suddenly come to his temple. Recall Luke’s account of what immediately precedes the Lord’s cleansing of the Temple: And when he drew near and saw the city he wept over it, saying, “Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace! But now they are hid from your eyes…because you did not know the time of your visitation (See Lk 19:41-44).

3:2 But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? “For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap;

Who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? The question is addressed to sinners and has a negative meaning, much like that of Isaiah 53:1~Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? Once again we come up against the need for the messenger who will be called the prophet of the Most High and who will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins (Lk 1:76-77).  For If thou, O LORD, shouldst mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared (Ps 130:3-4).

The Messenger of the Covenant, the Lord himself is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap.

Cornelius a Lapide: How can the weakness of man endure such might; his blindness, such light; his frailty such power; his uncleanness, such holiness; the chaff, such a fire? “For he is like a refiner’s fire.” Who would not fail through stupefaction, fear, horror, shrinking reverence from such Majesty? (Commentary on Malachi).

An idea similar to the present verse appears later: For behold, the day comes, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But the prophet goes on to add: But for you who fear my name the sun of righteousness shall rise (3:19-20 or 4:1-2 in some translations).

St Jerome: He shall come like a refining fire; “A fire shall burn before him: and a mighty tempest shall be round about him. He shall call heaven from above, and the earth, to judge his people.” streams of fire shall sweep before him, bearing away all sinners. For the Lord is called a fire, and a “consuming fire” (Ps 50:3-4) so as to burn our “wood, hay, stubble” (1 Cor 3:12), and not fire only, but “fuller’s soap.” To those who sin heavily, He is a refining and “consuming fire”, but to those who commit light sins, fuller’s soap, to restore cleanness to it, when washed…The nitrum and the fuller’s soap are penitence (Commentary on Malachi).

3:3 he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, till they present right offerings to the LORD.

He will sit. Sitting is the common posture of a judge issuing decrees and sentences. For those who will have it, God’s punishing judgements are intended to purify: I will turn my hand against you and will smelt away your dross as with lye and remove all your alloy. And I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning. Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.” Zion shall be redeemed by justice, and those in her who repent, by righteousness (Isa 1:25-27). And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say, `They are my people’; and they will say, `The LORD is my God‘ (Zech 13:9).

He will purify the sons of Lev.This contrasts nicely with the threats of 2:2-3~I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings; indeed I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart. Behold, I will rebuke your offspring, and spread dung upon your faces, the dung of your offerings, and I will put you out of my presence.

Till they present right offerings to the Lord. The Douay-Rheims has, they shall offer sacrifices to the Lord in justice.   The priests had been offering unjust or unrighteous sacrifices (1:6-14).

3:4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.

Pleasing to the Lord. Recalls the Lord’s words from 1:8~When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that no evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that no evil? Present that to your governor; will he be pleased with you or show you favor? says the LORD of hosts.

As in the days of old and as in the former years. An allusion to the covenant with Levi mentioned in 2:4-6.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, Latin Mass Notes, liturgy, Notes on Malachi, Notes on the Lectionary, Quotes, Scripture | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Dec 23: My Notes on Today’s First Reading, Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24 (3:1-4, 4:5-6 in some translations)

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 18, 2011

All Scripture quotes, except those within the quotes of other (e.g., Jerome, Lapide) are from the RSV which is under copyright:

The [New] Revised Standard Version Bible may be quoted and/or reprinted up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express written permission of the publisher, provided the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible or account for fifty percent (50%) of the total work in which they are quoted.

Notice of copyright must appear on the title or copyright page of the work as follows: “Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

Background: The book of Malachi contains a series of six speeches in the form of disputations which the prophet has delivered against his listeners. 1.   God loves Israel and wished to maintain covenant relations with his people (Mal 1:2-5).  2.  For this relationship to continue the priests must offer proper sacrifices at the temple (Mal 1:6-2:9).  3.  The people must maintain their marriages as if safeguarding their own lives (Mal 2:10-16).  4.  God will send a messenger of righteousness to refine the people (i.e., make them repentant) before He returns in judgment (Mal 2:17-3:7, part of today’s reading).  5.  God, through His prophet, exhorts the people to offer tithes that are not fraudulent. If they try this they will find blessing (Mal 3:8-12).  6.  Exhortations and warning to remember the covenant (Mal 3:13-24, also part of today’s reading).

Today’s reading consists of most of speech 4 above, to which is added the final verses of speech 6, which are also the final verse of the whole book. In my notes I include comments on 2:17 which opens the fourth disputation.

2:17.  You have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet you say, “How have we wearied him?” By saying, “Every one who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delights in them.” Or by asking, “Where is the God of justice?”

The fact that the people have to ask “how have we wearied God?” implies either deliberate petulance on their part or it is an effect of their ignorance as a result of the the sins of the priesthood (Mal 2:7-8). More likely both are in play here. Concerning “wearying” the Lord, see Isa 1:14; 43:24; Eph 4:30.

St Jerome: The people, when returned from Babylon, seeing all the nations around, and the Babylonians themselves, serving idols but abounding in wealth, strong in body, possessing all which is accounted good in this world, and themselves, who had the knowledge of God, overwhelmed with want, hunger, servitude, is scandalized and says, “There is no providence in human things; all things are born along by blind chance, and not governed by the judgement of God; nay rather things evil please Him, things good displease Him; or if God does discriminate all things, where is His equitable and just judgement?” Questions of this sort minds which believe not in the world to come, daily raise to God, when they see the wicked in power, the saints in low estate; such as Lazarus, whom we read of in the Gospel, who, before the gate of the rich man in his purple garments, desires to support his hungry soul with the crumbs which are thrown away from the remnants of the table, while the rich mane is of such savagery and cruelty, that he had no pity on his fellow-man to whom the tongues of the dogs shewed pity; not understanding the time of judgement, nor that those are the true goods, which are for ever, say, He is pleased with the evil, and Where is the God of Judgement? (Jerome, Commentary on the Prophet Malachi).

3:1.  “Behold, I send my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.

Behold, I send my messenger to prepare the way before me. It is important to keep in mind that there are two messengers mentioned in this verse. The first will prepare the way before the Lord and he is later identified as being Elijah (Mal 3:23-24, in some translation 4:5-6). The second is the messenger of the covenant, the Lord himself.

Concerning the first messenger he is to prepare the way of the Lord, he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers (3:24, 4:6 some translations). He will, in other words, do what the priest of Levi should have done; he will turn many from iniquity (2:6). The priests could never turn the hearts of a father or child to one another for they had destroyed their own relationship with God the Father: A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name (1:6).

3:1 cont. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming. The words seek and delight are biting sarcasm. The priests, rather than seeking the Lord turned aside from him and caused many of the people to stumble (2:8). The people themselves will be accused of turning aside in 3:7, and the last thing people who have turned aside from the Lord want is his coming to them: Woe to you who desire the day of the LORD! Why would you have the day of the LORD? It is darkness, and not light (Amos 5:18). And recall that in the previous verse (2:17) the people were shown as claiming that God “delights” in everyone who does evil. The people are ill-prepared to either seek or delight in the Lord (see next verse), hence the need for the Messenger to come before him.

In the Gospels this messenger is identified as St John the Baptist who went before the Lord Jesus in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared (Lk 1:17).  See also Lk 1:76, 7:27; Matt 11:10; Mark 1:2.

The Lord you seek will suddenly come to his temple. Recall Luke’s account of what immediately precedes the Lord’s cleansing of the Temple: And when he drew near and saw the city he wept over it, saying, “Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace! But now they are hid from your eyes…because you did not know the time of your visitation (See Lk 19:41-44).

3:2 But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? “For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap;

Who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? The question is addressed to sinners and has a negative meaning, much like that of Isaiah 53:1~Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? Once again we come up against the need for the messenger who will be called the prophet of the Most High and who will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins (Lk 1:76-77).  For If thou, O LORD, shouldst mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared (Ps 130:3-4).

The Messenger of the Covenant, the Lord himself is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap.

Cornelius a Lapide: How can the weakness of man endure such might; his blindness, such light; his frailty such power; his uncleanness, such holiness; the chaff, such a fire? “For he is like a refiner’s fire.” Who would not fail through stupefaction, fear, horror, shrinking reverence from such Majesty? (Commentary on Malachi).

An idea similar to the present verse appears later: For behold, the day comes, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But the prophet goes on to add: But for you who fear my name the sun of righteousness shall rise (3:19-20 or 4:1-2 in some translations).

St Jerome: He shall come like a refining fire; “A fire shall burn before him: and a mighty tempest shall be round about him. He shall call heaven from above, and the earth, to judge his people.” streams of fire shall sweep before him, bearing away all sinners. For the Lord is called a fire, and a “consuming fire” (Ps 50:3-4) so as to burn our “wood, hay, stubble” (1 Cor 3:12), and not fire only, but “fuller’s soap.” To those who sin heavily, He is a refining and “consuming fire”, but to those who commit light sins, fuller’s soap, to restore cleanness to it, when washed…The nitrum and the fuller’s soap are penitence (Commentary on Malachi).

3:3 he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, till they present right offerings to the LORD.

He will sit. Sitting is the common posture of a judge issuing decrees and sentences. For those who will have it, God’s punishing judgements are intended to purify: I will turn my hand against you and will smelt away your dross as with lye and remove all your alloy. And I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning. Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.” Zion shall be redeemed by justice, and those in her who repent, by righteousness (Isa 1:25-27). And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say, `They are my people’; and they will say, `The LORD is my God‘ (Zech 13:9).

He will purify the sons of Lev.This contrasts nicely with the threats of 2:2-3~I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings; indeed I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart. Behold, I will rebuke your offspring, and spread dung upon your faces, the dung of your offerings, and I will put you out of my presence.

Till they present right offerings to the Lord. The Douay-Rheims has, they shall offer sacrifices to the Lord in justice.   The priests had been offering unjust or unrighteous sacrifices (1:6-14).

3:4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.

Pleasing to the Lord. Recalls the Lord’s words from 1:8~When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that no evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that no evil? Present that to your governor; will he be pleased with you or show you favor? says the LORD of hosts.

As in the days of old and as in the former years. An allusion to the covenant with Levi mentioned in 2:4-6.

3:5 “Then I will draw near to you for judgment; I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow and the orphan, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the LORD of hosts.

In 2:17 the people were accused of asking “where is God’s justice?” Here we see him promising to I will draw near to you for judgement. In both cases the word for justice/judgement are from the same root, משׁפּט = mishpâṭ, המשׁפט) למשׁפט), thus drawing a connection between the two verses. His justice will manifest his judgement against all covenant breakers.

Sorcerers. Witchcraft, enchanters, all who deal with evil spirits (Ex 22:18).

Adulterers. Condemned in 2:10-16. Another covenant violation (Ex 20:16).

Those who swear falsely (Ex 20:16; Deut 19:16-21).

Those who oppress the hireling in his wages.  (Deut 24:14-15).

Those who oppress…the widow and the orphan. (Ex 22:22-24; Deut 24:17-18).

Those who thrust aside the sojourner. (Ex 20:10; 23:12; Deut 26:12-13).

Do not fear me. He will come against all forms of injustice.

3:23 (4:5 some translations) “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes.
 3:24 (4:6 some translations) And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land

See what was written under verse 1 above. The book opened with these words: “I have loved you” (1:2). God’s patience and forbearance in the face of sin is a manifestation of his desire to see people repent. St Peter too had to deal with scoffers who questioned the coming judgement (2 Pet 3:3-4). His response to his readers is to tell them But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance (2 Pet 3:8-9). He then goes on to assure them that a judgement will come and that Therefore, beloved, since you wait for these, be zealous to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the forbearance of our Lord as salvation (2 Pet 3:14-15). The faithful wait for the coming judgement, sinners must be brought to fear it by the preaching of repentance. For all its harsh judgements the book of Malachi begins with love and ends with a time of repentance.

 

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, liturgy, Notes on Malachi, Notes on the Lectionary, Quotes, Scripture | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

 
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