Saturday of the Third Week of Advent
Scriptural Readings: Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24; Psalms 25:4-5ab, 8-9, 10+14; Luke 1:57-66
My dear encountered couple:
Zechariah had not believed the angel Gabriel as did Mary. That his wife should bear a son in her old age he thought impossible. And so, when the word of God was communicated to him by an angel he remained disbelieving. For that he was struck dumb, he could not speak. Today we find that affliction removed.
Elizabeth had given birth to a fine, healthy boy. “What is to be his name?” the neighbors asked. “He is to be called John,” answered his mother. But they disagreed because of tradition saying, “None of your relatives has that name.” They then looked to Zechariah, who wrote on a tablet, “His name is John.” From that moment on he could speak. Isn’t that a lot like faith?
Zechariah didn’t believe the angel and became unable to speak. How can anyone who lacks faith in God speak the truth about him? They don’t know him. How can anyone who refuses to believe in Jesus Christ expect to say anything of substance about him?
Lack of faith confuses first the mind and then ties the tongue. When faith makes its entrance, so also the hidden truths of God begin to be understood and the tongue is untied. Faith is essential not only for salvation but also wisdom. Zechariah didn’t believe Gabriel until his eyes saw and his hands touched. Mary believed Gabriel from the very beginning.
We do not prove our faith by giving gifts and celebrating at Christmas time because even unbelievers do that. Faith is proved when we look into the eyes of the Christ Child and then do all we can to change ourselves to the better.