Readings for Thursday December 24, 2009
First Reading: 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8-12, 14, 16
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 89
Gospel: Luke 1:67-79
“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; for he has come to his people and set them free. He has raised up for us a mighty Savior, born of the house of his servant David. Through his prophets he promised of old that he would save us from our enemies, from the hands of all who hate us. He promised to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant. This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to set us free from the hand of our enemies, free to worship him without fear, holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life. You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way, to give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins. In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace." (Lk 1:67-79)
In today's gospel, we read the Canticle of Zechariah. Zechariah learned his lesson in trusting God the hard way, he lost his power of speech because he did not believe the angel when he told him that Elizabeth would bear a son in her old age. We see here from this canticle that Zechariah is clearly a new man, a man who truly believes with all of his heart, soul, mind and strength. The funny thing is that Zechariah was a priest, so he probably new the scriptures inside and out, and it wasn't that he didn't have faith, it was just that he didn't believe with his whole heart. He was probably like many people and just going through the motions of life, and then when something miraculous appears before him, his heart is too hardened to even be moved by God's great gift.
As we celebrate the Nativity of our Lord Jesus tomorrow, I pray that we each learn a lesson from Zechariah and instead of having a closed heart to the Lord, we can open ourselves and to receive Jesus into our hearts and into our entire lives.
May the Holy Spirit fill each of us so that we too might glorify God and spread praise of Him throughout this world just as Zechariah did.
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord we thank you for your abundant love and mercy, help us to never stray from your goodness. Lord, you alone are the good and right thing for us to follow, help us to stay focused on you. Lord, you are our God and we are your people, may we never forget this and live our life as you would have us. We pray for all of our priests and religious, for strength in their vows and in their ministry. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.