Monday, December 19, 2022
Readings for Today
O Antiphons of Advent
“I am Gabriel, who stand before God. I was sent to speak to you and to announce to you this good news. But now you will be speechless and unable to talk until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled at their proper time.” Luke 1:19–20
Imagine if the Archangel Gabriel appeared to you. What would that have been like? This particular Archangel stands before the incomprehensible beauty and splendor of the Most Holy Trinity and brings forth messages of the greatest importance. Gabriel is God’s most notable messenger. Take a moment to ponder what such a glorious apparition would have been like.
In the passage above, this glorious Archangel appears to Zechariah as he is fulfilling his priestly duty to burn incense before the Lord within the Holy of Holies. As Zechariah enters the sanctuary while all the people remain outside praying, he suddenly has a vision of the Archangel telling him that his wife Elizabeth will have a child, even though she is advanced in years. But even though Zechariah hears this message from Gabriel, the Archangel who stands before God, he doubts what he is being told.
Would you have believed the Archangel Gabriel if you were Zechariah? Or would you have doubted? Though there may not be a way to know the answer to that question, it’s helpful to ponder the humble truth that you very well may have doubted. It takes true humility to admit that possibility. Like Zechariah, we are all weak and sinful. We lack the perfect faith that our Blessed Mother had. And if you can humbly admit this, then you are in a great position to overcome the weakness of faith you struggle with. Zechariah suffered much for his lack of faith, but that suffering led to a renewal of faith when he named his child John in obedience to the Archangel.
Reflect, today, upon how well you listen to all that God says to you. Do you listen, believe and obey? Or do you question and doubt God’s voice. Know that God speaks to you each and every day. Admit the ways that you lack perfect faith and allow that act of humble acknowledgment to strengthen you where you need help the most.
Lord, I know I lack the depth of perfect faith that I so deeply desire to have. I know that You speak to me day and night, and I fail to listen and obey. As I humble myself before You and confess my weakness of faith, strengthen me to respond more fully each day to all that You say to me. Jesus, I trust in You.
Saint Andrew Christmas Novena
The Saint Andrew’s Christmas Novena prayer below is traditionally prayed 15 times a day from November 30, the Feast of Saint Andrew, through Christmas Eve.