Thought for the Day – The Weekdays of Advent – 19 December
“And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed and he spoke, blessing God.”…Luke 1:64
The Benedictus, is prayed every morning in the Breviary and so, the Church remembers this “forerunner of Jesus” at the beginning of every day. The opening words of this Canticle are the source of its Latin title, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel”.
What does it mean for Catholics, that we sing this song about John the Baptists at the start of every new day? After having been “silenced” by sleep throughout the night, God opens our mouths and one of the first things we do, is to sing this blessing of God, whose dawn breaks forth to shine on us and guide our way to peace.
In the Benedictus, we join ourselves to the mission of St John the Baptist, who came to prepare a way for the Lord by being a witness of God’s salvation, living a simple and penitential life and calling others to do the same. Our work each day, then, is to use our voice – like Zechariah and his son – and the witness of our lives, to make God’s presence known wherever we go and to whom whomever we encounter.”
The Benedictus – Canticle of Zechariah
The Messiah and His forerunner
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
He has visited His people and redeemed them.
He has raised up for us a mighty saviour,
in the house of David, His servant,
as He promised by the lips of holy men,
those who were His prophets of old.
A Saviour who would free us from our foes,
from the hands of all who us.
So His love for our fathers is fulfilled
and His holy covenant remembered.
He swore to Abraham, our father, to grant us,
that free from fear and saved from the hands of our foes.
we might worship Him in justice and holiness
all the days of our lives, in His Presence.
As for you, little child,
you shall be called the prophet of God, the Most High.
You shall go ahead of the Lord
to prepare His ways before Him,
to make known to His people their salvation,
through forgiveness of all their sins,
the loving kindness of the heart of our God,
who visits us like the dawn from on high.
He will give light to those in darkness,
those who dwell in the shadow of death
and to guide us into the way of peace.
Glory to the Father and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever.
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