Zechariah, 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.” (Luke 1:67-72)
Zechariah had great reason to rejoice. After all, he had been struck mute when the angel of the Lord told him that he and his wife would conceive a son in their old age and name him John. He was made speechless because he did not believe the angel. He was told that he would not be able to speak again until the birth of his son.
It happened as the angel said.
Zechariah and his wife had a child. The people wanted to call the child Zechariah after his father, as was the custom for first-born males. Elizabeth insisted that he be called John. They did not believe her and went to Zechariah. He asked for something upon which to write and put down the words, “His name is John.” At that point, he was able to speak again and he proclaimed the Gospel canticle that we hear at Mass this morning.
The Lord, the God of Israel, indeed, is Blessed and he has blessed us abundantly. He has raised up for us many people who have guided us in the faith. He has saved us from many perils as well as from ultimate death by His own death on the cross and resurrection to new life.
God fulfills promises rather than breaks them. He has promised to send a Savior and He did in the birth of His Son, Jesus. We prepare to celebrate that great event tonight and tomorrow at our Christmas Masses.
Come, Lord, and save us all.
FAITH ACTION: God truly fulfills promises. In quiet contemplation today, recall to mind all the things that God has done for you and your loved ones. Give Him the praise that is His due.