EWTN Catholic Q&A
2 Malachi 4:5-6
Question from James Cegayle on 11-05-2012:

I was wondering if who will return on the end of age, is it Elijah as stated on 2 Malachi 4:5-6 or Jesus Christ? I think it is Elijah, because it would be another "John the baptist will prepare the way" if the time of Jesus Christ will come. I have this understanding that when the end of age will come, it would be God the Father will come to judge the living and the dead and another "new world / earth" will emerge.

Answer by Fr. John Echert on 11-06-2012:

The expectation, based upon this prophetic reference you cite as well as Jewish tradition and questions to the Baptist if he is Elijah and a statement by Jesus that associates the Baptist with Elijah are all compelling evidence that Elijah will appear shortly prior to the Coming of Christ at the end of time, to prepare souls for his arrival, much as the Baptist did for the past coming. Elijah may be one of the two witnesses mentioned in the Apocalypse, who preach are and put to death, then rise after three days. Remember, Elijah did not die in the Old Testament, but was taken up into the heavens by a chariot sent from God.

Thanks, James

Father Echert