Friday, December 24, 2010

Friday of the Fourth Week of Advent

Reflection based on Luke 1: 67-79

Preparing the Way

When the angel of the Lord appeared to Zechariah to announce the good news that his childless wife would announce the good news that his childless wife would give birth to a son, the old man at first refused to believe. For that disbelief he was struck dumb -- a priest of God, who could not preach the holy law. At the child's birth, he had to declare the boy's name in writing: John, or "God is gracious." Only after the act of faith did Zechariah regain his speech, bursting into song the Church uses to greet the dawn.

Rightly so: since the grace of God rushes like a flood of light over the shoals of darkness. That boy John, son of the man who lost his speech, "shall be called the prophet of the Most High," preaching to the people "knowledge of salvation / by the forgiveness of their sins."

In that duty he, named for God's grace, stands with Mary as the first of all Christians. We too are meant to prepare Christ's way, by faith that issues forth in bold word and deed. We know too well the fault of the good man Zechariah, who did not wish at first to believe that God could be soo good. That fault ties our tongues. Let us celebrate instead the grace of God, and sing.

Gracious Father, untie our tongues, and send us forth as messengers of Christ, the morning star that never sets, now in this vigil of your Son's nativity, and forevermore.


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