Malachi is the last book of the Old Testament. Hundreds of years will pass before John is born. Malachi gives the prophecy that before the day of the Lord comes, he will send Elijah to change hearts.
This is an important prophecy to the Jewish people. Recall that Elijah was taken up in a fiery chariot. That means he did not die. So, it is understood that he would come back to proclaim the coming of the Lord. Elijah was a wild figure, living in the desert. John also began his ministry in the desert. He, too, is a wild figure of a prophet. Jesus does claim John as Elijah.
The Old Testament has always given us an inclination of God working in our human lives. It is as important today as it was then to know that when John says repent, believe in the gospel we must do so. We are called to change our hearts.
Notice John never said to change other hearts. No, it is your heart. You cannot change others, but we can pray for them.
As we approach the Christmas season, I am sure every family will have some members that are not reconciled. Ask John to change their hearts. Ask the Lord to grant them reconciliation. Do so soon as the Christ-child comes now.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and if the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen