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Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent

My dear encountered couples:

By the reaction of the relatives and neighbors, it seems that the custom of the times was to name a newly born child after the parents or one of the relatives. Elizabeth said her son would be named John. “But none of your relatives has this name,” they pointed out. And so they took their case to Zechariah and found that he agreed with Elizabeth. “His name is John.”

Maybe this is no big deal, but we could take it as the sign of the big change that was taking place. The world would soon receive the Son of God. John was to prepare people to receive him. Changes were in the wind, the Holy Spirit would fill many people with a new and better way of life. A new name was introduced into the family because a new age was dawning in the world. The people are being told not to be afraid of change, to let God do whatever he wishes.

Notice what happened to those who did not accept the change and the Messiah. They were left behind. They’re still waiting and looking up at the sky. They are missing the God who is already in their midst.

I wonder how many of us are missing him - or at least a large part of his presence. Change — each of us must. For if we remain the same, we stagnate, we stay far from God. Any changes, though, must be to the better, must be evidenced by our growth in goodness.

Jesus told us that goodness is evidenced by how we treat others. And I’m sure he means not only at Christmas time but all the time. Maybe you don’t need a new name, but how about a new you?

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