The Catholic Calendar for Friday, December 23, 2005
Friday, in the Last Days of Advent
St. John of Kanty, priest
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24
Psalm 25:4-5, 8-10, 14
A reflection on today's Scripture. . . .
"What then will this child be?" (Luke 1:66)
Today, being a servant is seen as a position of inferiority. Our Gospel today disputes this by enabling us to see that servitude is a condition of human existence; for as a species we are interdependent. We cannot live fully unless each of us contributes our energy and abilities for the good of others and at the same time accept the benefits of their particular God-given talents.
Recall that Christ emphasized at the washing of His disciples' feet that He came to serve and therefore expected them to follow this same path. Christ revealed in His action that our greatest service is to be directed at God and can only be done if we have total faith in Him. Christ's great work of salvation was accomplished through total humility, trust and acceptance of His Father's will. We can hinder God's work on this earth by not accepting that all things are possible to God and thinking that a task He has given us is too difficult to do.
Zechariah, a priest and servant of God, was somewhat deficient in faith; he doubted the angel Gabriel's announcement that he and his wife Elizabeth would be blessed by God so late in their lives with a son. In consequence of his skepticism, Gabriel told him he would be rendered mute "until the day that these things take place...." When God's plan was completed and Zechariah in an act of new-found faith and obedience affirmed his son's name to be John, as God had required, he regained his voice. At that moment he was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied his son's mission, "to be the prophet of the Most High" to proclaim to Israel the arrival of their long awaited Messiah. Only those fully given to God in loving faith can proclaim His Word with all truth and power to a world needing peace.
All powerful God, open our minds and our hearts that Your Holy Spirit may prepare us to fully accept and live in Him whom You have sent, Your Incarnate Word of Life. Amen.
- Marie Bocko, OCDS
(mlbocko at earthlink dot net)