Advent, December 23rd

In today’s Gospel we see a happy ending to Zechariah’s quiet time due to his lack of faith in the message the angel Gabriel gave him a few days ago in the readings. John didn’t believe what the angel said would come to pass and now, after months of silence to contemplate the events unfolding and the angel’s promise coming true, he had an opportunity to get his faith back on track. Instead of being a silent spectator to the wonders unfolding he finally achieved the spiritual maturity to conform to God’s will for him and his family. He didn’t know his voice would be restored, but now he believed and obeyed, confirming that his newborn son’s name should be John as the angel said.

When he emerged from the Temple a few months ago, unable to speak, lips wagged. Now people realized that something bigger was going on, and gossip spread throughout the hill country. It would be years before they realized how big it was. The newborn John was already starting to fulfill the promise in the First Reading: his father turned back to him and turned back to God’s plan. Thanks to Zechariah’s renewed faith he received a voice again to sing the praises of God.

Advent is a time for turning back to God. Ask Our Lord to help you regain a voice of faith in order to welcome his birth and spread the Good News.

Readings: Malachi 3:1–4, 23–24; Psalm 25:4–5ab, 8–9, 10, 14; Luke 1:57–66.