Gospel: Luke 1:5-25*
In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there lived a priest named Zechariah, belonging to the priestly clan of Abiah. Elizabeth, Zechariah‘s wife, also belonged to a priestly family. Both of them were upright in the eyes of God, and lived blamelessly, (…) but they had no child. (…)
Now, while Zechariah and those with him were fulfilling their office, it fell to him by lot, according to the custom of the priests, to enter the Sanctuary of the Lord and burn incense. (…) On seeing the angel, Zechariah was deeply troubled and fear took hold of him.
But the angel said to him, ”Don‘t be afraid, Zechariah, be assured that your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son and you shall name him John. (…)
This son of yours will be great in the eyes of the Lord. Listen: he shall never drink wine or strong drink; but he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother‘s womb. Through him, many of the people of Israel will turn to the Lord their God. He, himself, will open the way to the Lord, with the spirit and power of the prophet Elijah; he will reconcile fathers and children; and lead the disobedient to wisdom and
righteousness, in order to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
Zechariah said to the angel, ”How can I believe this? I am an old man and my wife is elderly, too.” The angel replied, ”I am Gabriel, who stands before God; and I am the one sent to speak to you, and to bring you this good news! My words will come true in their time. But you would not believe; and now, you will be silent and unable to speak until this has happened.” (…) When his time of service was completed, Zechariah returned home; and, some time later, Elizabeth became pregnant. For five months she kept to herself, remaining at home, and thinking, ”This, for me, is the Lord‘s doing! This is his time for mercy, and for taking away my public disgrace.”
“This, for me, is the Lord‘s doing!”
Years ago, I would not have imagined where I am now. St. Augustine and St. Therese of the Child Jesus would always say: “everything is grace”. Indeed, in my life all is grace. It is grace that I became a priest. It is grace to serve the Archdiocese of Cebu. It is grace to be with the catholic chaplains in the Armed Services of the Philippines.
The reading today from the book of Judges reminds us of God’s faithfulness. While Manoah and his wife would suffer from societal alienation on account of their being childless, God would rescue them and lift them up. The same is underlined in the Gospel reading. Elizabeth, the wife of Zechariah, who is barren was graced to conceive a child.
The Scriptures is full of evidence that God is faithful. In saying “everything is grace”, we also mean, God is truly faithful.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2019