Luke 1:57-66, 80
When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have
her child she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors
and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great
mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her. When they
came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they
were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but
his mother said in reply, "No. He will be called
John." But they answered her, "There is no one among
your relatives who has this name." So they made signs,
asking his father what he wished him to be called.
He asked for a tablet and wrote, "John is his
name," and all were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened,
his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God. Then fear
came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were
discussed throughout the hill country of Judea. All who heard
these things took them to heart, saying, "What, then, will
this child be?" For surely the hand of the Lord
was with him. The child grew and became strong in
spirit, and he was in the desert until the day
of his manifestation to Israel.
Lord, I make this effort at prayer for the sake
of my soul and the souls of my loved ones.
I believe that you died for us and want us
to be with you forever in heaven.
Petition: Grant me new respect, Lord, for parents.
1. Bundle of Joy: The arrival of a new
baby has been a source of joy throughout the ages.
Babies are God´s way of saying the world should go
on. Each new child reflects a facet of the infinite
beauty and mystery of God. And by teaching us patience
and selflessness, the little ones help us grow in holiness.
In their childlike simplicity they teach us to remain simple.
Their neediness can, and should, soften our hearts. They don´t
even have to be our own children; we can feel
an obligation to help all kids, since their lives enrich
all of us. What have I done lately to help
the little ones, born and unborn? Is there a crisis-pregnancy
center that could use help? Have I spoken well of
parents who are open to large families?
2. God´s Choice: For the ancient Jews a name captured,
even defined, a person´s identity. So for Elizabeth to name
her son "John" was significant. It showed her recognition of
God´s great plan for the child. John was in the
Almighty´s special care from the start. Even today, each and
every child is loved by God and has a destiny
in the heavenly Father´s plan. Each has a vocation, a
calling, in the Church. Do I appreciate the role that
little ones have in God´s plans? Do I respect their
dignity? Or do I try to impose my prejudices on
them? They are tomorrow´s adults. How will I want them
to remember my example?
3. Loosened Lips:
Zechariah had doubted God and was struck mute. He regains
his speech only after publicly accepting God´s plan and allowing
his newborn son to take the name John. We, too,
might have a bit of Zechariah in us. We resist
God, only to hit a dead end. Bad friendships, habits
of serious sin, rising despair – all of these can
eat away at us. Yet, repentance is slow to come.
Why? "We think that evil is basically good," said Pope-Emeritus
Benedict XVI (December 8, 2005). "We think that we need
it, at least a little, in order to experience the
fullness of being. … If we look, however, at the
world that surrounds us we can see that this is
not so; in other words, that evil is always poisonous,
does not uplift human beings, but degrades and humiliates them."
Am I resisting God´s plans?
Christ: Lord, you have put family members and other loved
ones in my life for a reason. I´m to help
them get to heaven, and they are to help me
do the same. Remind me of this truth, and help
me in a special way not to interfere with the
plans you have for the children in my life.
Resolution: I will pray a decade of the
rosary that all my family members reach heaven.