Saturday, December 19, 2015
Reflection: Luke 1:5-25
Saturday of the Third Week of Advent – Luke 1:5-25
Today we hear the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth, and of John the Baptist’s conception. In this reading there are echoes of the angel’s announcement to Mary that she would bear a child. An angel of God appears to Zechariah as he was praying in the sanctuary of God. The angel tells Zechariah that Elizabeth will conceive and bear a son.
Zechariah is very troubled by the angel’s message. Who wouldn’t be? For many years Elizabeth and Zechariah had longed for a child and they had never received that gift. Yet standing before him was an angel telling Zechariah that Elizabeth in her old age would conceive. The angel also prophesied that this child would be filled with the Holy Spirit and their son would be a prophet, one who would prepare the way for the “One” who would come.
Naturally, Zechariah was very skeptical. He doubted the angel’s message. He may have thought he was going mad. Zechariah then asked the angel how this was to come about since both he and Elizabeth were long past child-bearing years. The angel did not appreciate Zechariah’s disbelief and skepticism. In response, the angel announced that since Zechariah did not believe the angel’s message, Zechariah would be unable to speak until all these happenings came to pass!
If we received a message like this from an angel, how would we react? Most likely, we also would respond with great disbelief. And we might wonder if we were going crazy. Yet at times, God does act in strange and fantastic ways. Perhaps when we are disbelieving we should re-read this Gospel passage. Who knows, God may desire for us to do wondrous deeds in our lives. Will we believe God? Will we trust? Will we say yes to God’s request? If (when) this happens to us, may we pray to Zechariah and Elizabeth. They will “come to our aid.” They will help us trust and believe that God is calling us!