December 19, 2017
The angel said to Zechariah, “… your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John. . . . He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb, and he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of fathers toward children and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous, to prepare a people fit for the Lord.” Lk_1:5-25
Before every great or mighty deed done for the Lord there is a beckoning, a call, a message left by a messenger. That messenger may well be the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, but more often than not, it’s a sign left by an outside messenger.
John was the messenger for the people of his time, telling them to prepare their hearts for the coming of the Savior or Messiah, who was promised them by the messengers before him (the Prophets).
Today’s messenger may be the priest giving a profound homily. It may be our Pope, reminding us of our call to serve. It may be a sign, an apparition from our Blessed Mother, Mary. But from wherever that message comes, the only way we’ll be able to recognize it, is if we’re prepared. And that is exactly what our Advent Season is all about.
It’s about not being afraid, or defensive, or angry, or reluctant to respond 100% to that call, no matter how outrageous it may sound. It was outrageous to the 100-year old Abraham and Sarah. It was outrageous to the aged Zechariah and Elizabeth and to Manoah and his barren wife. It was outrageous to Elkanah and barren Hannah. It was outrageous to Jacob and barren Rachel and to Joseph and virginal Mary. But out of all of that barrenness came something EXTREMELY special to God, and they were named: Isaac and John, Samson and Samuel, Joseph and Jesus!
Is there a barrenness somewhere within our lives, beloved? Rejoice because we are being prepared, and Trust in the Lord! Listen for His message. It will be as clear as day and as unpredictable as the weather. And through it, we WILL be filled to overflowing! For with God, all things are possible! TRUST!
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