“It is amazing how a new child can refocus one’s direction seconds after its birth.”
~ David Bowie
Zechariah was the priest on duty in the temple one day when an angel appeared to him and told him that he and his wife, Elizabeth, were going to have a baby and that they were to name him John. Zechariah met the angel’s pronouncement with a great deal of skepticism. So much so, as a matter of fact, that the angel told Zechariah that he would be mute until the day that his son was born.
When Zechariah left his duty in the temple, it was apparent to everyone that Zechariah had experienced a mighty vision. His visage had changed and he had lost his ability to speak. And it came about that his wife became pregnant. She who was old and barren had found favor with God as the angel had said.
Finally, the day came for the naming of the child. Everyone expected that he would be called Zechariah after his father, such was the tradition. Elizabeth stated that he would be called John. The community did not believe her and would not accept that. They asked Zechariah what the child should be called. Zechariah motioned for a tablet and wrote, “His name is John.”
At that moment, Zechariah’s tongue was loosed and he was able to speak again, proclaiming what has come to be known as Zechariah’s canticle, a wonderful canticle proclaiming the glory of God and the coming of the Messiah. The Church uses that canticle each day at morning prayer.
Let us not make God, or angels, go to extremes in dealing with us. Let us do all that we can to open our minds and hearts to the possibilities of God and to be ready to embrace God’s will whenever it presents itself to us.
As Zechariah wrote John’s name on a tablet, a pencil and tablet are the symbols for the Jesse Tree today.
FAITH ACTION: Pray for all expectant parents, that their children will bring joy and comfort to them.