24th of December

Publié le 23 Décembre 2021

Gospel text

(Lk 1:67-79): 

 

Zechariah his father, filled with the Holy Spirit, prophesied, saying: “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; for he has come to his people and set them free. He has raised up for us a mighty Savior, born of the house of his servant David. Through his prophets he promised of old that he would save us from our enemies, from the hands of all who hate us. He promised to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant. This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to set us free from the hand of our enemies, free to worship him without fear, holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life. You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way, to give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins. In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

 

The Application

 

Nine months of silence and contemplation allowed Zechariah to give thanks to God in all sincerity and joy. The joy that Jesus passed on to John the Baptist begins to spread throughout the Jerusalem area.  God comes to visit us, Zechariah tells us. How true and necessary it is for man to believe in this statement of Zechariah!

 

This child will prepare the way for the Lord, thus leading us to Him. He will lead us on the path of peace, especially at this time when we live in the shadow of death. Let us not be afraid and let us be joyful. He is coming  our Saviour.  

 

Action of the day: Prepare yourself to welcome Christ.

“The dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness”

 

Fr. Ignasi FABREGAT i Torrents

(Terrassa, Barcelona, Spain)

 

Today, the Gospel gathers Zechariah's song of praise after the birth of his son. In its first part John the Baptist's father thanks God, and in the second, his eyes look forward into the future. He oozes joy and hope on recognizing the salvation’s action of God toward Israel, which culminates in the coming of the Messiah, prepared by his own son John.

We already know that Zechariah had been punished by God because of his skepticism. Now, however, that the divine action has been made real —as he has recovered his ability to speak— says what he before could express only in his heart: “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel” (Lk 1:68). How Many times do we see the dark side of things, negatively, in a pessimistic way! If only we had the supernatural vision of the facts that Zechariah shows in the Benedictus, we would be constantly living in joy and hope.

“The Lord is at hand; the Lord is here”. The forerunner's father is conscious of the fact that the arrival of the Messiah means, above all, light. A light that illuminates those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death. Us! May we realize with full consciousness that Jesus came to illuminate our lives, that he is coming to guide us, to point out the way to go... It would be great if we were to allow Him guide us with His desires; with the hope he has invested in us!

Jesus is the “Lord” (cf. Lk 1:68.76), but he is also the “Savior” (cf. Lk 1:69). These two attributes that Zechariah points to about God, so close to Christmas eve, have always surprised me, because they are precisely the same ones that the Angel of the Lord will assign to Jesus in its announcement to the shepherds and that we will hear touchingly tonight at Midnight Mass.
It is God Himself who is born!

 

Rédigé par JOHNBOSCO

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