Speechless

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Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Advent

 

Luke 1:57-66

When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her. 

When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, “No. He will be called John.” But they answered her, “There is no one among your relatives who has this name.” So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called. He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,” and all were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God. Then fear came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea. All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, “What, then, will this child be?” For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.

 

 Opening Prayer: Lord, prepare my heart to receive your message today so that I can bear witness to you in the world.

 

  1. Zechariah’s Lack of Faith: A few days ago, we heard how Zechariah was silenced for his lack of faith. Today he was able to speak again because he accepted the words of the angel and bore witness to the name “John” being given to his son in the temple. Zechariah’s transformation from doubter to believer can help us to see how powerful faith can be, and how empty life is without it. Without faith, we are blind and mute to spiritual realities all around us. With faith, we can always find reasons to proclaim the glory of God.

 

  1. Speechless like Zechariah: We can try to explain everything with science and mathematical certainty, but there is a part of us that can’t be explained away with reason. As we try to hold on to certainties and measurables, we experience in our own flesh the passing nature of it all. Our life can lose meaning and direction if we close ourselves off to the surprises of God. In our desire to have control of our life, we lose the ability to wonder and marvel at God’s unexpectable or mysterious movements. We are speechless, like Zechariah, because we can’t find words to enter into or share with others the mysteries of the eternal.

 

  1. The Power to Speak: At the moment he chose the name of John, Zechariah acknowledged that his reason couldn’t explain all that had happened over the past nine months. By choosing a name with no link to his family, he let go of his plan for his family and opened his heart to marvel at the goodness of God. He believed. Faith opens our hearts, mind, and eyes to wonder with simplicity at all the gifts of God. By entering into the mystery of God through faith, we see the world in a new and meaningful way that gives us a voice–God’s voice–to share with the world, proclaiming the wonders we have experienced as his redemptive work in our souls.

 

Conversing with Christ: Lord, many times I am silenced like Zechariah by unforeseen or frightening circumstances in my life. I ask you to increase my faith so that I can always see your hand at work. I want my life to speak of you as I try to love all the souls around me.

 

Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will pray, and then speak on your behalf to someone you’ve placed in my life.

 

For Further Reflection: As Christmas approaches, reflect on the lyrics of “I Wait”:

Oh restless heart, do not grow weary
Hold on to faith and wait
The God of love, he will not tarry
He is never late
So I wait in the promise
I wait in hope
Yes, I wait in the power
Of God’s unending love
So I wait in the promise
I wait in hope
Yes, I wait in the power
Of God’s unending love
Be still and rest secure, my soul
He knows what’s best for me
Here in my patience lies the goal
To wait and trust in Thee
So I wait in the promise
I wait in hope
Yes, I wait in the power
Of God’s unending love
Even through my imperfections
His light is shining through
Though dim I am still a reflection
Of mercy and the truth
So I wait in the promise
I wait in hope
Yes, I wait in the power
Of God’s unending love
So I wait in the promise
Oh, I wait in hope
Yes, I wait in the power
Of God’s unending love

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Thomas Jordan / Leslie Jordan / David Leonard

 

Father Andrew Gronotte entered the minor seminary of the Legion of Christ at thirteen years old, and was ordained in December 2016. He currently serves in Atlanta as chaplain at Holy Spirit Preparatory School.

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