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Sunday's gospel
Announcement of John the Baptist’s birth
Luke 1: 1-25

1    Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us,Copyright Image
2    Just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word.
3    Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,
4    So that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.
5    In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron.
6    Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly.
7    But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren; and they were both well along in years.
8    Once when Zechariah's division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God,
9    He was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense.
10    And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.
11    Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense.
12    When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear.
13    But the angel said to him: "Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John.
14    He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth,
15    For he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth.
16    Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God.
17    And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
18    "Zechariah asked the angel, "How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years."
19    The angel answered, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.
20    And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time."
21    Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple.
22    When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.
23    When his time of service was completed, he returned home.
24    After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion.
25    "The Lord has done this for me," she said. "In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people."

Meditation


Starting this Sunday, we begin to listen to the texts of the Gospels which put us in the atmosphere of Christmas and most of which are taken from the first two chapters of the Gospel according to Luc. Today’s Gospel reveals the birth of John the Baptist foretold. It is an important text regarding theology and faith. It is the Gospel of hope, joy and waiting. It is indeed the achievement of God’s promise that took place with the Old Testament at the beginning of God’s people formation especially with Abraham. This promise kept on proceeding with various generations until the New Testament, i.e. the Church and the Head of this people, Jesus Christ.

First point: God, who interfered for the sake of His people in the Old Testament, goes on interfering in the New Testament through His Son Jesus who founded the Church, the new people of God. He pursues then His work of salvation in Church and in the life of each believer.

Second point: as Christians, we seek hard to behave according to the Will of the Lord. We respect the commandments and we abide by the teachings of the Church. However, in the course of our life, we may face unpredictable and unexpected problems which might be very hard and beyond our capacity. Thus, we close our heart and we cede to desperation and doubt. We consider then that all our prayers were in vain and we start wondering about the presence of God who is not listening to us and does not interfere in order to satisfy our needs. Why did that happen to me? It is the end of my life and the death of hope.
Dear brothers, today’s Gospel invites us to trust God and realize that He is the powerful Lord who defeats unhappiness and leads us towards salvation and glory. He is the Good in spite of all obstacles and sadness. He is able to put in our life all what is good through our sadness. Let us always open our heart and let us trust Him blindly by seeking a new future linked continuously to our faith, our love and our perseverance e in Him.

Finally, I recommend spouses whose dream of having a child has not been achieved yet, to believe in God steadily and blindly and to realize that all will be accomplished for their sake and God only knows what is proper to them. For this reason, I ask you to be as Zacharias. Keep silence linked to prayer. Meditate deeply in order to understand that God loves you so much. He is your Father and He is aware, as a father, of all what you need. Turn yourselves over to Him without any condition so that you can find out through your patience, the value of love and of interior suffering that you felt. Thus, you will be blessed and you will understand, in case you have a child, the paternity of God and how you should live it in order to raise your kid properly. But, if you will not be given this grace, trust that God will provide you with compensations at the place and time He sees convenient. The most important is that you be aware of the Good that God provide you with, regardless the necessity of your needs. God is the Master of History, He is our Father, let Him be our strength.