December 24, 2019
Advent Weekday – Mass in the Morning
Readings for Morning Mass
“You, my child, shall be called 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.” Luke 1:76-79
This song of praise from Zechariah is spoken once his tongue is loosed after manifesting faith in the birth of his son John. And in this particular song of praise, Zechariah gives glory to God as he manifests not only his faith, but also the fruit of his faith: deep, clear, articulate and insightful knowledge of the workings of the Father in Heaven.
Zechariah speaks truths that could only be known by him through the gift of faith. There is little doubt that his long exile of silence, after being struck mute by the Angel Gabriel, resulted in him seeking, hearing and understanding the mystery that was before him. He came to realize that his little child was the one who would prepare the immediate way for the Lord. He came to understand this baby’s singular prophetic role in the salvation of the world. He saw his son as the “dawn” which was to announce the rising Sun.
So much happened to Zechariah in these months of suffering. The Lord worked on him and enabled him to offer this prayer of praise that is sung daily by priests and religious throughout the world. Zechariah truly fulfilled his mission by getting back up on his feet after his fall.
The same must happen with each one of us. It would have been easy for Zechariah to turn to anger and despair. He could have easily lost hope and felt abandoned by God. But he didn’t. He waited on the fidelity of God and, when his time came, he spoke this beautiful and faith-filled song of praise.
Reflect, today, upon how God wants you to imitate the faith and perseverance of Zechariah. It would be easy to look down on him for doubting. But God did not do this. Instead, He gave him a chance to honor Him through the ages with this song. Seek the ways that God also wants to work through your failures of the past. Offer them to Him and trust that He will manifest His almighty power through you as you seek to imitate the example of this holy man.
Lord, I offer You my past and all the ways that I have failed to trust in You. I give You my weakness, my pride and my frustration. I surrender all sin to You and give myself to You completely so that You may do with me as You will. May Your grace be at work in me and may I, like Zechariah, sing forever the glory of Your holy name. Jesus, I trust in You.