Advent Reflection – The Weekdays of Advent – 19 December, Readings: Judges 13:2-7, 24-25, Psalm 71:3-6, 16-17, Luke 1:5-25
The Lord is at hand, come let us adore Him.
Then, when his days of ministry were completed, he went home.
After this time his wife Elizabeth conceived .… Luke 1:23-24
REFLECTION – “The angel said to him: “God has heard the voice of your prayer.” If Zechariah believed his prayer would be heard, then he prayed well; if he did not believe, he prayed badly. His prayer was about to be answered, yet he doubted. Therefore it was reasonable that at that very moment the word was removed from him. Beforehand, he was praying for a son but the instant his prayer was answered he turned around and said: “How can this be?” Because it was with his mouth that he cast doubts on his prayer, it was his speech he lost ( … ). So long as Zechariah believed, he spoke, as soon as he ceased to believe, he was silent. So long as he believed, he spoke: “I believed and therefore I spoke” (Ps 115:10). Because he rejected the angel’s word, this word plagued him so, that he would respect with his silence, the word he had rejected.
It was fitting that the mouth that said: “How shall this be?” should be silenced so that it might learn the possibility of a miracle. The unbound tongue was bound, so that it might learn that He who had bound the tongue was capable of unbinding the womb. In this way experience taught him who had not accepted the teaching of faith ( … ) Thus he learned. that He who had closed an open mouth. could open a closed womb.” … Saint Ephrem (306-373) – Deacon in Syria, Father and Doctor of the Church
MEDITATION – “And delicately, gently, by means of this sweet and peaceful dawn, God taught me, too, to obey – a very great peace filled my soul. I thought how God alone is good, how all is ordained by Him, how nothing is of importance in what people do or say and how, where I am concerned, there must be nothing else in the world but God. God who will arrange everything for my good. God who causes the sun to rise each morning, who makes the ice melt, who cause the birds to sing and changes the clouds of heaven in a thousand soft colours. God who offers me a little corner on this earth for prayer, who gives me a little corner in which to wait for what I hope.” … St Raphael Arnaiz Baron (1911-1938)
ADVENT ACTION – ” … Jesus gives voice to those who are voiceless and to each one of us, He addresses an urgent appeal, to open our hearts and to make our own, the sufferings and anxieties of the poor, the hungry, the marginalised, the refugees, those who are defeated by life, those who are rejected by society and by the arrogance of the strong.”…Pope Francis – Angelus, 28 August 2016
O ROOT OF JESSE,
that stands for an ensign of the people,
before whom the kings keep silence
and unto whom the Gentiles
shall make supplication,
come, to deliver us and tarry not.