Daily Reflection for Thursday, December 19, 2019
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Thursday's readings at this link: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/121919.cfm
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Judges 13:2-7, 24-25A
Responsorial: Psalm 71:3-4A, 5-6AB, 16-17
Gospel: Luke 1:5-25
Our reflection on Thursday’s readings:
He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother's womb. (Luke 1:16)
Today we read of the conception of John the Baptist who was born of a holy, obedient and elderly couple, Zachariah and Elizabeth. As the Gospel story unfolds, we hear of Zachariah who is a man of great faith. He is visited by the angel Gabriel who proclaims that he and Elizabeth will have a son who will be filled with the Holy Spirit even in the womb of Elizabeth.
As the story is told, I think about how both John and Jesus come to us as babies. It is the incarnational mystery where the blessing of God meets humanity. While the conception of John, was different, God was very present at his conception and was with John through the full gestation period. It is a sacred mystery. It is not until years later that the mystery unfolds. It is revealed when John begins preaching in the wilderness, a prophetic message that prepares us to receive Emmanuel; God is with us.
The story of Zachariah and Elizabeth is a hopeful story. Prayers were heard by God and the Divine plan was carried out through two elders in the community. They were chosen because of their obedience to God, their strong faith. and their maturity and ability to navigate through such an unexpected journey. They were chosen and even through doubt and fear they played their part and accepted God’s will for them.
The story of Zachariah and Elizabeth gives us hope that even in our older years, God calls us to carry out His Divine plan. Even in our older years we are still young enough to learn lessons, as Zachariah found out when he doubted the angel Gabriel.
God gives us hope today. A hope that taps into our wisdom. A wisdom that has developed over years of joy and suffering. It is a hope that new life is born through our ability to say yes in our wisdom years. A hope that when unleashed, calls us to prepare our hearts for God’s love.
May your years of wisdom bring you hope in birthing new life,
Margarita Solis Deal