Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Unable To Speak

There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zachary, of the course of Abia; and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name Elizabeth. And they were both just before God, walking in all the commandments and justifications of the Lord without blame. And they had no son, for that Elizabeth was barren, and they both were well advanced in years. And it came to pass, when he executed the priestly function in the order of his course before God, According to the custom of the priestly office, it was his lot to offer incense, going into the temple of the Lord. And all the multitude of the people was praying without, at the hour of incense. And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing on the right side of the alter of incense. And Zachary seeing him, was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him: Fear not, Zachary, for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John: And thou shalt have joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice in his nativity. For he shall be great before the Lord; and shall drink no wine nor strong drink: and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. And he shall convert many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias; that he may turn the hearts of the fathers unto the children, and the incredulous to the wisdom of the just, to prepare unto the Lord a perfect people. And Zachary said to the angel: Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years. And the angel answering, said to him: I am Gabriel, who stand before God: and am sent to speak to thee, and to bring thee these good tidings. And behold, thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not be able to speak until the day wherein these things shall come to pass, because thou hast not believed my words, which shall be fulfilled in their time. And the people were waiting for Zachary; and they wondered that he tarried so long in the temple. And when he came out, he could not speak to them: and they understood that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he made signs to them, and remained dumb. And it came to pass, after the days of his office were accomplished, he departed to his own house. And after those days, Elizabeth his wife conceived, and hid herself five months, saying: Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he hath had regard to take away my reproach among men.

Luke 1:5-25 (Douay-Rheimms Bible)

Prayer Reflection

Dear Father how often in my own life have I kept my mouth shut and not spoken of your goodness to others. Or witness a wrong and never spoke a word to correct it out of being afraid of being reprimanded or told to mind my own business. And some would say what does this have to do with today's reading. Well Zachary lost his voice when he didn't trust in the Angel Gabriel's words to him. Then I too wonder how often the Lord has trusted me with his Words and I have not spoken them, yet at times when the opportunity arises to speak I fall silent. And it is those times that the timing to speak is not right. Trusting in the Holy Spirit to guide my words when speaking of God's Word is a well thing to do. Zachary on the other hand was advanced in years and it made what the Angel Gabriel say harder to believe, in this I too had the same problem. Being in advanced age and receiving the presence of God in my own life when tales of these things happen to those who are young. But you dear Father have touched my life to understand the beauty of your Word. The truth of your Word is believable.

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